Because I have just been diagnosed with yet ANOTHER case of strep throat (twice in the last 3 months), and I haven’t had strep in almost two decades, I decided to do some research on the condition to see if there were an abnormally high number of cases around the country this year.
First, the doctor told me strep was going around this year. Ok, that and $5 can get me a cup of coffee at Starbuck’s. One web site (http://ent.about.com/b/2012/07/31/strep-throat-in-july.htm) had a generic statement that “according to several news sources,” strep has been seen in the unexpected months of July and August this year. A bit more helpful, but not very.
Another site reported a huge rash of cases in schools in Oregon. http://www.seasidesignal.com/news/article_c2bdc02a-73a2-11e1-8ee0-001871e3ce6c.html Although I’m not in school where many cases of illness are seen and spread rapidly, this still showed a bit of a trend developing.
This site, Centra Care clinics report rise in strep throat cases, finally expanded the strep case parameter to all ages, although this one focused on Florida hospitals and Florida is much more tropical than most of the country and high numbers of tropical weather-related illnesses would seem to be more normal than other areas of the U.S. Then I got to thinking. Virginia, with the god-awful heat and humidity, especially this year, causes one to connect tropics to Virginia. Ok, this and $2 may get me a cup of coffee at Starbuck’s.
I tried the Virginia Department of Health website, http://www.vdh.state.va.us/ but the most recent year they list for trends of reported diseases is 2010. No help there. Then the Center for Disease Control and Prevention site, and I got the same dated information. http://www.cdc.gov/ Apparently, if it’s anything besides influenza or flesh-eating virus, the subject isn’t sexy enough…
Well, the fact remains several areas of the country have reported an abnormally high number of strep throat cases this year, and even during the summer months when strep is normally not very prevalent. At least I’m not abnormal. Well, in this case, anyway.