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Group A streptococcal (strep) infections are caused by group A streptococcus, a bacterium responsible for a variety of health problems. These infections can range from mild skin infection or sore throat to severe, life-threatening conditions such as toxic shock syndrome (multi-organ failures) and necrotizing fasciitis (soft tissue disease), commonly known as flesh eating disease. Most people are familiar with strep throat, which along with minor skin infection, is the most common form of the disease. Health experts estimate that more than 10 million mild infections (throat and skin) like these occur every year.

In addition to step throat and superficial skin infections, group A strep bacteria can cause infections in tissues at specific body sites, including lungs, bones, spinal cord, and abdomen.

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