Banner Health says strep throat cases on the rise across the Valley

Posted: Updated:
MESA, AZ (3TV/CBS 5/AP) -

The number of strep throat cases in the Phoenix-area is on the rise, according to Banner Health.

"Once you start to see a case, you always expect 10 more cases to come in," said Dr. Ruben Espinosa, with Banner Health Clinic's Vineyard Pediatrics.

Most of the strep patients are children.

Espinosa said that as the flu season winds down, they tend to see strep throat cases go up.

 This year is one of the worst Espinosa has ever seen.

"Strep is a bacteria that hangs out in the nose and mouth, so when kids sneeze and rub their nose, especially during allergy season right now when people are rubbing noses and eyes, you can spread it really easily," said Espinosa.

Strep, which is short for Streptococcus, can be easily treated with a simple antibiotic.

However, if it's untreated, it can lead to some serious health problems.    

Here are some symptoms to look out for:

  • A severe sore throat.
  • Trouble swallowing
  • Fever
  • Nausea
  • Lack of appetite

Mesa mom Jessica George is taking extra precautions with her kids.

"It's definitely a concern," said George. "Our 2-year-old daughter had it when she was little, and because of that we're very cautious."

Doctors said the best thing anyone can do to reduce their risk of getting strep throat, is to wash their hands constantly and stay away from anyone with strep throat.

Copyright 2017 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

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Jason Barry
Jason Barry has been reporting in the Valley since 1997.

Click to learn more about Jason.

Jason Barry

Jason Barry has been reporting in the Valley since 1997.

He is a nine-time Rocky Mountain Emmy Award winner who is best known for his weekly Dirty Dining reports, which highlight local restaurants with major health code violations.

Jason was born in Los Angeles and graduated from the University of Miami.

An avid sports fan, Jason follows the Diamondbacks, Cardinals and Suns with his wife, Karen, and son, Joshua.

His favorite stories to cover are the station’s Pay it Forward segments, which reward members of the community with $500 for going ‘above and beyond’ the call of duty to help others.

Jason, started his career at WBTW-TV in Florence, SC before moving to WALA-TV in Mobile, AL, was named the Associated Press Reporter of the Year in 2002.

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