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The Pediatric Forum |

Pharyngeal Findings of Group A Streptococcal Pharyngitis

Richard H. Schwartz, MD; Michael A. Gerber, MD; Kathleen McKay
Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 1998;152(9):927-928. doi:10.1001/archpedi.152.9.927.
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Acute pharyngitis is one of the most common problems encountered by the practicing pediatrician. When managing these patients, it is important to distinguish between those children with viral pharyngitis (usually ≥70% of the cases) and those children with group A β-hemolytic streptococcal (GABHS) pharyngitis. Children with viral pharyngitis will not benefit from antimicrobial therapy. The inappropriate use of such therapy in these patients generates an unnecessary expense, exposes the child to the risk of adverse reactions, and may contribute to the selection of antimicrobial-resistant organisms in the upper respiratory tract. In contrast, antimicrobial therapy for children with GABHS pharyngitis reduces the risk of nonsuppurative (eg, acute rheumatic fever) and suppurative (eg, peritonsillar abscess) complications, reduces the risk of transmission to contacts, and shortens the clinical course of the illness.1

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