Strep is now making the rounds in North Alabama and WAAY 31 has learned how it can turn dangerous quickly.
A little boy from Lawrence County is in a Birmingham hospital after his case developed into scarlet fever.
WAAY 31 learned more about the condition and what parents need to look for.
“Not the common course for strep at all," said Dr. Jennifer Menon.
Dr. Menon is a pediatrician at Decatur Morgan Hospital and has seen a lot of things, but never a case of scarlet fever like the one a little boy in Lawrence County developed from strep.
According to a post on Facebook, a student at Mt. Hope School had severe swelling from his waist to his head, and his skin was peeling.
“It sounds like what we’re worried about is what we call invasive strep infections and those are incredibly rare," Menon said.
Dr. Menon says you can’t get scarlet fever without having strep first.
She says they treat strep throat at Decatur Morgan Hospital--not so much to prevent scarlet fever, but to keep it from spreading to others you might be in contact with.
"The strep strains that tend to cause the scarlet fever tend to be a little bit more aggressive," Menon said.
When it comes to strep, Menon says there are a few things to look out for.
“Some combination of headache, sore throat, and fever.”
She says symptoms might also include a dry cough and belly pain.
Menon says the most important thing is to prevent passing it on to others.
“It’s very easy to spread, so if you have someone who’s been diagnosed with strep throat, make sure everyone is washing their hands," she said. "In particular, with strep, we don’t want to be sharing any cups, spoons, plates, dishes, drinks, or anything like that with any family members or friends.”
WAAY 31 reached out to the little boy’s family. They say he is on strong antibiotics that have helped the swelling go down.