Early emergence of strep throat

September 12th, 2013

Never heard of guttate psoriasis? It is among the possible complications of strep throat, as NBC 5 news viewers learned in an interview with Erin Baker, physician assistant in the JPS School Based Health Center in Everman.

Strep throat is making an unusually early appearance in North Texas this year, Baker told NBC 5’s Eric King. She’s seeing it at her own clinic, and said another JPS School Based Health Center saw six positive strep tests among the first 10 patients on Wednesday. “We usually see it later in the school year, October, November, December, when colder weather starts,” Baker said.

 

view NBC-DFW article

Complications of strep throat are rare because it is treatable with antibiotics, but some of them are severe. Untreated strep throat can lead to rheumatic fever and permanent heart damage. Scarlet fever is another complication, as is post-streptococcal glomerulonephritis, which occurs if the infection causes blood vessels in the kidneys to become inflamed. Guttate psoriasis is among the lesser-known complications of strep throat.

Guttate psoriasis is a skin condition characterized by small, red and scaly teardrop-shaped spots (guttate means “drop” in Latin) that appear on the arms, legs and trunk, according to the National Institutes of Health. It is not contagious, and sometimes goes away on its own. It can become chronic, however, and progress to plaque psoriasis, a more common form of the disease.

Strep throat is the most common trigger, but guttate psoriasis occasionally follows other bacterial and viral infections, and injuries such as cuts, burns and insect bites, according to the NIH.