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Impetigo

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What is it?

  • Impetigo is a common childhood skin infection that is usually caused by bacteria called group A streptococcal (strep) or Staphylococcus aureus (staph).
  • Infection happens when the bacteria enters the skin through an open area (like a bug bite).

Sign and Symptoms?

  • Impetigo usually appears around the mouth, nose or on skin that’s not covered by clothes.
  • The rash can start as a cluster of red bumps or blisters. Eventually the blisters may ooze a honey-coloured crust. Many germs live under this crust.
  • Sometimes the infection can become serious. If this happens, your child may have fever, pain, swelling, and may feel weak.

How is it spread?

  • Direct contact: Impetigo can spread when someone touches the rash directly.
  • Indirect contact: The germs can get on bed sheets, towels or clothing that have been in contact with someone’s skin. Then a person can pick up the germs from touching those objects.
  • This disease can be spread as long as the sores continue to drain or until 24 hours after antibiotic treatment has started.

How to decrease the spread?

  • Handwashing is number one way to decrease the spread.
  • Cover the areas that have the blisters/rash.
  • Speak to your Health Care Provider for treatment.

Recommended Absence: An infected child may return to school or daycare 24 hours after antibiotic treatment has been started.

Impetigo is not reportable to Medical Officer of Health.

Resources:

About Kids Health www.aboutkidshealth.ca

Caring for Kids www.caringforkids.cps.ca