Strep is short for Streptococcus, a type of bacteria. There are several types. Two of them cause most of the strep infections in people: group A and group B.
Group A strep causes:
- Strep throat - a sore, red throat. Your tonsils may be swollen and have white spots on them.
- Scarlet fever - an illness that follows strep throat. It causes a red rash on the body.
- Impetigo - a skin infection
- Toxic shock syndrome
- Cellulitis and necrotizing fasciitis (flesh-eating disease)
Group B strep can cause blood infections, pneumonia and meningitis in newborns. A screening test during pregnancy can tell if you have it. If you do, intravenous (IV) antibiotics during labor can save your baby's life. Adults can also get group B strep infections, especially if they are 65 or older or already have health problems. Strep B can cause urinary tract infections, blood infections, skin infections and pneumonia in adults.
Antibiotics are used to treat strep infections.