ILLINOIS (WCIA) — Officials at the Illinois Department of Public Health are warning of strep after seeing a rise in cases in 2023.

IDPH Director Dr. Sameer Vohra said that more cases of Group A strep have been reported in the first three months of 2023 than in any one of the past five years.

“As COVID-19 cases and community levels remain stable, I want to share my concern about the growing number of strep throat cases in Illinois that are leading to severe complications,” Vohra said. “These cases, known as invasive Group A strep, are the result of disease spreading from the throat to blood, muscle and lungs.”

Vohra urged parents to contact their health providers if their children start showing symptoms, which include sudden onset of sore throat, pain when swallowing and fever.

“Early detection is critical as strep can be diagnosed with a simple test and treated with antibiotics,” Vohra added. “If able, please make sure everyone in the house is up to date with flu and chickenpox vaccines. Having either the flu or chickenpox can increase your risk of contracting invasive Group A strep.”

People can learn more about invasive Group A strep on the CDC’s website.

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