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August 2, 1976

Streptococcal Pharyngitis in Children

Author Affiliations

Binghamton, NY

JAMA. 1976;236(5):446-447. doi:10.1001/jama.1976.03270050010005

To the Editor.—  In discussing the treatment of streptococcal pharyngitis in children, Bass et al state that "it has been previously demonstrated that treatment of streptococcal pharyngitis with either penicillin or erythromycin significantly alters the clinical course of the disease.17 The mean duration of illness is two to three days in treated patients and six to seven days in untreated patients." The article by Haight1 actually deals with the antibiotic treatment of patients with scarlet fever, and the author points out that 69% to 75% of the patients in his study had no clinical evidence of pharyngitis. He postulates that "scarlet fever is mainly a systemic disease and the throat is only transiently involved as a portal of entry." This study, cited by Bass, is not pertinent to the assertion that treatment significantly alters the course of streptococcal pharyngitis.In 1953, Denny et al2 published the results