Streptococcal Group A invasive disease, also called invasive strep A infection, is a bacterial infection caused by the streptococcus bacteria type A (strep A). Strep A may be found in a person’s throat or on their skin. Although most infections by strep A may make a person feel very sick, the infections are not life threatening. Minor strep A infections include a sore throat and swollen glands, impetigo, cellulitis, earache or middle ear infection and a sinus infection or sinusitis. Sometimes the strep A infection will affect other organs or tissues in the body causing what is known as an invasive infection. Strep A invasive infections are serious and may be life threatening. Some examples include pneumonia (an infection of the lungs causing coughing, breathing difficulties and chest pain), sepsis (an infection of the blood causing high temperature, rapid heartbeat and rapid breathing) and meningitis (an infection of the outer protective layer of the brain causing headache, vomiting, stiff next, sensitivity to light and a blotchy red rash) . Strep A invasive infections are diagnosed with a blood test. Babies less than six months old, individuals over 75 years old, pregnant women, individuals who abuse alcohol or use heroin, as well as those with a health condition which weakens their immune system (the body’s defense system) such as HIV, cancer, type 2 diabetes. Certain medications and treatments may also weaken a person’s immune system. Invasive strep A infections usually require hospitalization. Treatments include antibiotics and supportive care (such as oxygen and intravenous fluids) as well as possibly a blood transfusion. If you suspect you or a family member may have an invasive strep A infection please seek medical attention immediately.