A strain of group A streptococcus bacteria has caused an outbreak affecting six soldiers at Fort Benning, Georgia’s one-station unit training, a garrison spokesman confirmed to Army Times on Monday.
As a precaution, all trainees and cadre are taking a preventative round of antibiotics, Benjamin Garrett said in a statement.
“These particular cases were complications of strep infection and should be characterized as a cluster of cases and not as an epidemic,” the statement said.
An initial group of four soldiers prompted Benning’s Martin Army Community Hospital to screen other soldiers they might have come in contact with beginning Feb. 13, the statement said. That screen found two cases of strep throat on Feb. 15.
“These two peritonsillar abscess cases have been treated and returned to duty and their entire company have been screened,” the statement said. “Trainees testing positive for strep in their company have been treated."
Though there have been no new cases since the screening, the statement said, all trainees and cadre will be put on a dose of preventative antibiotics, to stem the spread of any early infections that haven’t been identified.
Health care professionals regularly monitor trainees for illnesses like strep, which can spread quickly in close quarters.
So far, no soldiers have been put into medical isolation and the outbreak has not affected anyone outside of the training organization, the statement said.
Meghann Myers is the Pentagon bureau chief at Military Times. She covers operations, policy, personnel, leadership and other issues affecting service members.