Doctor Betti
Dr. Betti Hertzberg Ressler is a Board Certified Pediatrician on staff at Miami Children's Hospital. Dr. Hertzberg developed the toilet training video "Let's Go Potty." She is the co-author of "The Doctor's Book of Home Remedies for Children."

Scarlet Fever and Strep Throat

Question: My daughter 11, seems to be getting strep throat repeatedly. This will be her third bout in less than 2 months. Can you give me an explanation for this recurrence and what can we do about this? Karen

Answer: There are several reasons for repeated Strep Throat. One is antibiotic failure. This could be due to not completing the course of antibiotics as prescribed, or actual antibiotic resistance to the Strep bacteria.

If antibiotic resistance is suspected, the culture will usually be positive even after treatment. Another form of antibiotic can be tried. If the antibiotic was not taken properly, a repeat course is in order. If there is a question of whether or not there exists a "carrier state," a throat culture taken when there are no symptoms will show Strep. There may also be someone in the household who may be a carrier. This has been documented. Again, usually the carrier has no symptoms.

There are different views on whether or not to treat a "Strep carrier." There are some experts that do not treat the carrier state unless, for example there are immune deficiencies.

Keep in mind that most sore throats are caused by viruses. Having a "Strep throat" is a common expression no matter what the cause. Sore throats caused by viruses are not treated with antibiotics.

Children will, as a rule, be exposed to a greater number of germs at school. Many times it seems that as soon as your child is over one illness, here comes another one!

Also see:

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  • My 12 year old daughter experiences difficulty sleeping due to fear of the dark and being alone. Is this normal?
  • Ask Dr. Betti your questions

    This information is not intended to be a substitute for visiting your pediatrician. If you or your child has specific concerns, you should see your doctor for a diagnosis and treatment.