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What can happen if my child's strep is not treated right away?

Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)
If you simply can't get your child to the doctor to treat his strep throat, and five or more days go by, he will likely clear the offending agent on his own. But in the process of getting rid of that strep, your child's immune system can empower a permanent defense battalion known as antistreptolysin antibodies, or ASOs, that can then attack other parts of his body. These antibodies can cause rheumatic fever, which can permanently damage heart valves and requires monthly shots of penicillin to control. So, when in doubt, get the strep test within the first three days, so as to avoid activating the whole squad and setting up the permanent perimeter guard.
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There’s little doubt that parenting can be one of the most rewarding and satisfying experiences you’ll ever have. But it can be plenty tough, too: Around the clock, you’re working to keep your...

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.