Possible complications of untreated or partially treated strep throat infection are:
Otitis media (spread of infection to the middle ear).
Meningitis (spread of infection to the lining of brain and spinal canal).
Pneumonia (lung infection).
Toxic shock syndrome (a rare but severe complication of strep pharyngitis, causing severe widespread infection and organ failure).
Abscess formation around the tonsils and behind the throat (peri-tonsillar abscess and retro-pharyngeal abscess).
Formation of an abscess behind the throat (retro-pharyngeal abscess) due to untreated or under-treated strep throat infection can lead to severe illness causing pain in throat and neck, difficulty swallowing, and potential respiratory compromise. These abscesses may need to be drained by an ear-nose-throat (ENT) specialist urgently, and hospitalization may be required.
There is also a condition called Pediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Disorder associated with group A Streptococcus infection (PANDAS). This is a theoretical and somewhat controversial condition linking group A strep infection with possible exacerbation of obsessive compulsive disorders or tic disorders (Tourette's syndrome) in children.
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