University of Wisconsin-Madison’s State Laboratory of Hygiene found the rate of positive strep throat tests has doubled since last year, NBC affiliate WTMJ reported March 8.
The center found that during the week of Feb. 18, about 40 percent of strep tests came back positive. In 2022, the peak positive rate stayed under 20 percent, according to the report.
“This is the next big problem,” Gregory DeMuri, MD, a pediatric infectious disease physician at Madison-based UW Health, told WTMJ. He said he has not seen so many severe cases in three decades.
The rate of severe strep infections has risen, especially among children, in the past few months. The CDC said in February that the rise is a return to pre-pandemic levels.