LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Strep throat is more than making a comeback. It's on the rise across the country.
Even here in Louisville, doctors at Norton Healthcare are seeing an uptick in strep cases and have some advice for people who are starting to feel that tickle in their throats.
For years, COVID knocked the number of strep cases down by more than 25%, especially the more severe Group A category.
But so far in 2023, the CDC says the number of strep cases has exceeded pre-pandemic levels in several age groups. It's why health officials urge everyone to pay attention if they feel a sore throat coming on.
"The majority of sore throats are actually caused by viral infections so it is good to see a doctor to differentiate between whether you have strep or a viral infection," Amanda Brown, a nurse practitioner at Norton Healthcare, said.
Brown said it's important to see a doctor soon if you think you have strep to get medication early on.
"It's important to get on antibiotics," she said. "Because, one, it's going to make you eel better faster and possibly reduce the severity of your symptoms. But also, it's going to make you less contagious to others."
According to Brown, people with strep -- who get an antibiotic -- aren't considered contagious after roughly the first 24 hours.
Without antibiotics, she said it's possible for patients to remain contagious for up to several weeks.
Make it easy to keep up-to-date with more stories like this. Download the WHAS11 News app now. For Apple or Android users.
Have a news tip? Email email@example.com, visit our Facebook page or Twitter feed.