CLEVELAND (WJW) – It’s a bacterial infection that lives to agitate. Chances are, you’ve felt the unfriendly swab that doctors use to check for its existence. 

Strep throat is back with a vengeance in 2023. 

Health officials nationwide have been concerned for several months about a rise in strep throat cases. In fact, a doctor at University Hospitals warned FOX 8 on a spike in cases in Northeast Ohio in February.

Right now, Cleveland public health official Dr. Dave Margolius says strep cases are at typical levels locally. 

But he is keeping a close eye on an unusual nationwide rise in what is called “invasive strep throat.”

“What that means is kids have strep throat, it doesn’t get treated and it causes problems all over the body,” said Dr. Margolius. 

While invasive strep is rare, Dr. Margolius warns not to fall into the trap of ignoring symptoms because that is exactly why these cases appear. 

“It is just strep throat. It is super treatable, easy to rest for, but invasive strep throat comes from when you don’t treat it,” said Dr. Margolius. 

If you think you or your child has strep throat, be proactive, not reactive.

“Go to the pediatrician or go to the urgent care to make sure you get checked out. It’s easy to test for. Everyone knows about the E strep test,” said Dr. Margolius.