Strep throat is a bacterial infection that causes itchiness and soreness of the throat. Strep throat accounts for only a small portion of sore throats. It is due to a group of Streptococcus bacteria. Strep throat can affect children and adults of all ages.
Is Strep Throat Contagious?
Strep throat is contagious. The strep bacteria hang out in the nose and throat. It spread through sneezing, coughing, and other ways that release droplets in the air. Strep throat is most common in school-age children but anyone can be infected with strep.
Symptoms of Strep Throat
- High fever
- Swollen tonsils
- Reddish tonsils
- Pain when you swallow
- Swollen and tender lymph nodes at the front of your neck
- White patches in the throat
- Tiny red spots on the roof of the mouth
- Loss of appetite
- Body aches
- Nausea and vomiting
Inform your doctor if you experience the symptoms below:
- Runny nose
- Hoarse voice
- Pinkeye or conjunctivitis
- Problems breathing or swallowing
- If strep has been diagnosed, a lack of improvement after taking antibiotics for 48 hours
What are the Risk Factors of Strep Throat?
- Young age. Strep throat occurs most commonly in children 5 to 15 years old.
- Time of year. It is rampant during the cold season or winter and early spring. Strep bacteria flourish wherever groups of people are in close contact.
- Weak immune system. Having an underlying condition that weakens the immune system can increase your risk of having strep throat.
How to Diagnose Strep Throat?
Doctors will assess the symptoms and other medical conditions. Other recommended diagnostic methods include:
- Rapid strep test. It uses a cotton swab to take a sample from the back of the throat. It determines the presence of strep bacteria.
- Throat culture. Your doctor will rub a swab over the throat and tonsils to be sent to the laboratory. It usually takes about 2 days to get results from a throat culture. It can confirm whether your child has strep throat or not.
Treatment for Strep Throat
Your doctor will give you antibiotics for treatment. Ensure to complete the treatment period to avoid worsening the condition. Your treatment depends upon the kind of bacteria that causes the infection. Antibiotics work only against certain types of parasites and bacteria.
How to Prevent the Spread of Strep Throat?
- Wash your hands from time to time using soap or hand sanitizer.
- Cover your mouth when coughing or sneezing.
- Avoid sharing utensils with other people.
- Eat healthy foods to boost your immune system.