The group A streptococcus may cause pharyngitis, rheumatic fever, streptococcal toxic shock syndrome, and serious skin and soft-tissue infections. More than 50 nosocomial outbreaks have been reported since 1966. For this reason, healthcare facilities should develop policies for the diagnosis and treatment of symptomatic hospital employees, and for the recognition and management of potential outbreaks. The clinical diagnosis of streptococcal pharyngitis is unreliable. Rapid streptococcal tests may be used for initial screening, but a negative rapid test should be confirmed with a properly obtained culture. Penicillin remains the treatment of choice, but new alternatives now include a 5-day course of either azithromycin or cefpodoxime.