COVID-19 and Strep A can co-occur – remember to test also for other pathogens
Upper respiratory tract symptoms including acute pharyngitis are the common symptoms of COVID-19, with a reported incidence of about 5% – 17.4%. Group A Streptococcus (GAS) pharyngitis is a common cause of bacterial pharyngitis, with highest incidence between age 5 and 15, and it can still occur in adults. Case study of co-occurrence of GAS and COVID-19 in a middle-aged man who presented with fever, sore throat, cough, and runny nose, was reported to raise the awareness among the physicians to not forget to screen for this common infection in patients with sore throat during this COVID-19 pandemic.
The symptoms of respiratory virus pharyngitis also broadly overlap with GAS leading to often misdiagnosis. Diagnosing GAS pharyngitis is paramount to prevent the complications associated with untreated conditions. The study concluded that co-occurrence of COVID-19 and GAS may be more common than what is thought, and there is a need to widen our vision in order to provide quality care to the patients. The authors recommend testing for common pathogens and avoid the singular focus on COVID-19.
Full case study: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/34084666/
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- Chan KH, Veeraballi S, Ahmed E, Yakobi R, Slim J. A Case of Co-occurrence of COVID-19 and Group A Streptococcal Pharyngitis. Cureus. 2021;13(4):e14729. Published 2021 Apr 28. doi:10.7759/cureus.14729