Strep Throat Complications

Updated on March 31, 2012
R.P. asks from Denver, CO
6 answers

I posted a question about a week ago concerning my nine year old son's second episode of strep throat (which happened just three days after he finished antibiotics for the first infection). A couple of days after he finished the second round of meds he seemed tired one morning and he was clearing his throat a lot. I asked him if his throat hurt, and he said he was fine. He perked up that afternoon, and this past week he has been 100% in terms of energy, appetite, and voice level ( we even had to remind him to use his indoor voice a couple of times). I noticed a couple of days ago that he was snoring at night and that he had that "marbles in his mouth" sound to his voice. Finally today, when he got off the school bus, he said that his throat did hurt a little bit, and that it had been slightly sore off and on again during the week, but he is "used to it". I told him he must always tell me when he doesn't feel well. We went to Urgent Care and had positive throat culture #3, and a new antibiotic. Later, a friend told me how untreated strep can lead to heart disease. I am a worrier, and immediately called the doctor and expressed concern that my son had probably been walking around with strep for nine days. She said she does not consider his case to be "untreated strep" but rather one that has developed a resistance to penicillin. She also said that strep would have to be untreated for at least a couple of weeks for it to cause heart problems, and that this is still pretty rare. Has anyone 's child ever had strep that went undetected for a while?

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answers from La Crosse on

my son is a "carrier" of strep. He will have it but doesn't get the symptoms but will pass them on to the rest of the family. He doesn't get the sore throat, the puss bags or the fever.... he will get scarletina. That's how we know he has it. We are never how sure how long he has had it.. but long enough to where he gets scalretina. Even with it in his charts and ped being well aware of it they will not treat him until he shows symptoms... those symptoms are always scarletina.

He has never had any problems with his heart and I have never had a dr express concern about it either. My guess is that he would have to have it for a LONG time before you have to worry. I can't even tell you how many times he has had scarletina... atleast once ( if not twice) a year since he was two.

* just in case you don't know.. scarletina/ scarlet fever is from untreated strep*

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Charleston on

Mine have had it where the 1st antibiotic didn't work, then it reoccurred. Make sure once he does get rid of it, you write down which antibiotic did the trick and request that first the next time he gets it. It is so frustrating! Don't worry too much about the heart disease factor - you've been on top of it and treating it, you just haven't found what is getting rid of it fully.

Also, does your son have his tonsils/adenoids still? My daughter got strep 6 times within 3 months. After we got her tonsils and adenoids removed, she has only had strep once. Maybe it's time to see an ENT? Just a thought.

Make sure also, that you ask his teacher if anyone else in the class has been absent from it. It spreads like wildfire in schools, so giving her a head's up about your son, might be helpful if she knows others have been sick. Some parents send their kids to school with strep knowingly which is so wrong. It's one thing if you don't know they have it, but to send them without being on antibiotics for 24-48 hours is making others sick too. My pediatrician tells us - no school for 2 days once they're diagnosed, and hands us a doctor's excuse.

Good luck and hope he feels better soon!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Dover on

My nephew's mom was told by his pediatrician that repeated strep can weaken the heart. The case that you described is not "untreated" or "repeated" rather one case that is being treated and hasn't cleared up.



answers from Madison on

My daughter had her strep throat virus go into her tonsils, where it stayed until it decided when it wanted to activate and come out. She had three system-wide strep infections before her Ped ENT decided to have her tonsils taken out. He came out of the surgery recovery room as white as a ghost. Before my daughter went into surgery, she had been checked and declared free of the strep virus. When her tonsils were sent to the lab to be checked (as is usual and customary when they are taken out), they were 100% FULL OF STREP!!

Getting her tonsils taken out was the BEST thing we ever did. it's been 5 years now, and she's never had another case of strep.


answers from Kansas City on

Kids may or may not have a sore throat with strep too, contrary to what some doctors tell you. We had one of our kids get the scarlet fever when she was in kindergarten and she did get very very sick but I think you were told right that it usually takes awhile for it to affect the heart and being active while sick makes it worse too. It's hard to get rid of strep sometimes and you need to take your son back to be sure it's gone this time if you are concerned that it's not gone completely. It's the kids without the sore throat that go undetected and so just keep an eye on him.



answers from New York on

it may not really be resistance to penicillin.. if you had an existing infection then you took penicillin fpr treatment the second time you get the same infection within days time you need a stronger antibiotic..

strep can either go to your heart or kidney which ever they reach first. i had rheumatic fever when i was in grade 3 caused by strep infection. i had to take meds to prevent strep from damaging my heart. fortunately i was cured and so far my heart is very much okay..

signs and symptoms:
painful joints
frequent strep infections 5 times a year or more

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