SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Cases of strep throat are rising in the U.S., though the antibiotic used to treat it remains in short supply.

Typical cold and flu season is here, but there’s another diagnosis to be on the lookout for.
Strep throat, a bacterial infection often accompanied by a sore, scratchy throat, is increasing in some parts of the country. That’s according to Epic Research, a national electronic health record tracker.

The uptick comes as access to amoxicillin, the antibiotic widely used to treat the infection, is limited due to spot shortages. Local parent Shajariz Hernandez told 22News thankfully her three-year-old son hasn’t gotten sick, “The first time I got strep was this year it was kind of a hassle to get antibiotics and then for it to go away it was horrible.”

Common symptoms of strep include a sore threat, fatigue, fever, inflamed lymph nodes, and sometimes heavy tonsil swelling. If treated properly and early patients usually start to feel better within 24 hours.

Hernandez says she’s going to do all she can to prevent her family from getting sick so she won’t have to worry about finding medication.

“I’m always prepared, so I have the Lysol wipes, the masks I have everything. I’m not getting sick anymore. My son, when he was younger had Tracheomalacia. So I’m already used to the routine of being clean all the time because I am not playing around. I’m going to be safe, especially for him.”

Strep is generally spread through respiratory droplets or direct contact so washing hands and covering your mouth when you cough or sneeze is recommended for prevention.

Local News

Kaelee Collins is a reporter who has been a part of the 22News team since 2022. Follow Kaelee on X @kaelee_collins and view her bio to see more of her work.