Streptococcus infection kills two in Curry County

CNJ staff

Two Curry County residents are dead and another is hospitalized from an infection of “invasive group A Streptococcus,” according to a press release from the New Mexico Department of Health sent late Wednesday.

The department says they have no evidence that the cases are linked. All three cases were discovered Dec. 31 through Jan. 5 in Curry County.

According to the release, a 23-year-old female and a 53-year-old man died of the infection, while a 58-year-old man is currently hospitalized.

New Mexico Department of Health spokesperson Deborah Busemeyer confirmed that an infected man is currently hospitalized but declined to specify what hospital.

“We’ve heard that he’s doing OK,” Busemeyer said.

PRMC reported the infections to the Department of Health and is assisting with the department’s investigation.

“This is a really common bacteria that is usually mild,” Busemeyer said. “It usually causes symptoms similar to strep throat.”

Symptoms of the infection could include fever, sore throat and joint and/or muscle aches.

According to the state health department, Group A Streptococcus is a common bacteria often found in the throat and the skin. People can carry the infection without showing any sign of illness. The infection can be passed from person to person.

“It’s not common to see three (severe) cases in the same location in the same time period, and that’s why we’re investigating it,” Busemeyer said.