Streptococcus pyogenes refers to a specific genus and species pair which shares many common characteristics with a wide range of microorganisms in the same genus. For sake of convenience at the expense of scientific specificity, we will refer to Streptococcus pyogenes from here on out simply as strep, although this is understood to apply only for the purposes of this post. Using the term to refer to all other species is misleading and inaccurate.
While there are many bacteria that could be abbreviated as “strep,” Streptococcus pyogenes is easily one of the most clinically significant, causing a variety of human illnesses that range from the distressing to the life-threatening. Strep is quite infamous as the causative agent of the aptly named “strep throat” infection common in children and adults alike. About 700 million infections are estimated to occur worldwide each year and of those, 650,000 are severe with a death rate of about 25%.
Complications of Strep
Left unrecognized and untreated, otherwise uncomplicated strep throat infections or skin infections known as impetigo can lead to significant diseases such as scarlet fever, which can have lifelong consequences, as well as rheumatic fever or significant kidney disease and failure. Toxic shock syndrome, which can also be deadly, is another potential consequence of untreated strep infections. But by far the most deadly and feared manifestation of strep infection is necrotizing fasciitis, more colorfully, if not completely accurately known as “flesh eating bacteria.” In fact, the bacteria do not “eat” flesh, but rather they release a toxin that can severely degrade and destroy tissues frequently leading to the need for radical surgery to save patient lives, although in some cases the damage is too severe or the infection spreads to rapidly to be stopped and these cases end in death. Put lightly, strep is not to be toyed with and anyone experiencing new or unusual symptoms should seek medical advice as soon as possible to help avoid very serious complications that may arise from otherwise seemingly minor problems.
Where Strep Comes From
Unfortunately, strep can be hard to avoid since it is commonly carried on the skin or in the respiratory tracts of many otherwise healthy people. The bacteria cause disease when they are introduced into susceptible tissues through trauma or through no obvious means outside of person-to-person contact or contact with shared surfaces which may have become contaminated with the skin bacteria or respiratory secretions of infected persons or persons harboring the infection who are not suffering from overt disease.
Treatment of Strep
In many cases, the infection can be treated with common antibiotics including penicillin or related drugs, but these defenses are only effective when infection is discovered and treated early in the course of the infection. Delays in diagnosis and treatment can have severe consequences.
Preventing Strep Infection
One of the best defenses against strep infection is frequent handwashing or disinfection through other means. It is also helpful to frequently disinfect shared surfaces around the home and especially in institutions such as schools, healthcare facilities, gyms, childcare settings, or anywhere else individuals congregate and share surfaces or other items such as toys.
Cleaner Today’s Line of Products Against Strep
Fortunately, the elimination of staph can be easily accomplished through the use of several different products offered by Cleaner Today. Viraguard disinfecting bulk solution is clinically proven, and even more importantly, EPA registered to kill Streptococcus pyogenes on contact on hands and surfaces. Viraguard is easy to use and is safe for many surfaces around the home. Alternatively, members of the MoldStat family of products are also EPA certified to kill Streptococcus pyogenes along with a wide range of other potentially hazardous organisms, including molds and yeasts. The MoldStat family is also easy to use and is safe for most all household surfaces. It can even be used in the laundry and to clean upholstered surfaces. It is highly concentrated, so a little bit goes a long way, making it an ideal disinfecting solution for institutions that need to clean and disinfect large areas frequently. And, MoldStat features a light and pleasant fragrance quite unlike most commercial disinfectants.