LEXINGTON, Ky. (FOX 56) — Many Kentuckians are seeing spikes in strep throat cases, and not just among children, but adults as well.
Breck Norment is one of the many Kentuckians just diagnosed with strep throat.
“Your throat seems smaller than it should,” Norment said. “I’ve been extra sleepy, weak, and I had chills. My wife always teases me when I say this, but my nerve endings were on edge and we both have been hanging on by a thread.”
Norment said he’s had strep before, but this time around it’s harder on him because he now has kids, and he doesn’t want to spread it to them.
Many tend to believe strep is more common among kids than adults, but with Norment’s recent visit to the clinic, he said it’s clear strep is going around.
“I know there were a lot of people at the little clinic that I went to get a swab done, so it does seem like there’s a lot of people dealing with it right now,” Norment said.
FOX 56 News Chief Medical Contributor Dr. Ryan Stanton also said strep is normal this time of year.
“Strep can spread to anybody,” Stanton said. “It’s what we call ‘bookend’ infections. They tend to book-end at the end of the typical flu season.”
Strep is also lingering at this time because Stanton said the flu season started early this year.
Stanton also said doctors are noticing some more severe cases of strep among adults.
“For those with a significantly, weakened immune system, cancer patients on chemotherapy, those on biologic things that decrease your system, or auto-immune diseases, things of that nature, they’re going to be an increased risk because the immune system isn’t there to keep it in check,” Stanton said. “And I think that’s the big thing that’s going around now. We’re hearing these cases of more severe strep throat causing complications, hospitalizations, and death. And it is very rare.”
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Stanton said other cases of strep becoming severe include sepsis and meningitis.
However, Stanton does reassure that strep is commonly mild and, if treated with penicillin-based medications, symptoms will get better within 24-48 hours.
Both Norment and Stanton recommend washing hands and cleaning surfaces to avoid the spread of strep throat. Masking is helpful too.