What is Strep Throat?
When your throat gets scratchy, sore, and raw, it is probably a bacterial infection. Typically, nearly all sore throat conditions are as a result of strep throat.
There are numerous treatment options for these conditions, and they work effectively. If left untreated, strep throat can result in life-threatening complications, including rheumatic fever and kidney inflammation.
Strep throat affects everyone, but it is common in children. Its causes vary from a common cold to allergies to acute viral infections.
Bacteria is the leading cause in children and young adults. While symptoms for strep throat may be apparent, you need to be checked by the doctor to confirm.
Strep Throat Quick Facts
- It’s highly contagious
- Children are more vulnerable than adults
- An average of 20 percent of children with no strep symptom test positive for strep
- The main symptom of strep is causing the throat to be scratch and sore making it painful to swallow
- In some instances, strep comes with a rash – scarlet fever
- Some people are strep carriers
Strep throat Symptoms
Does it hurt when you swallow? It could be strep throat. Typically, this condition revolves around your throat. It may come fast. Common symptoms include:
- Pain in the throat that happens very quickly
- Painful swallowing
- Fever exceeding 101 F
- Reddening and swelling of the tonsils with white patches or pus streaks sometimes.
- Swollen and tender lymph nodes in your neck
- Small red spots at the back part of the roof the mouth
- Body aches
- Headache with pain in the gut
- Nausea and vomiting, especially in younger children
In some instances, people do not show symptoms, but they are ill.
Keep in mind that these symptoms are not solidly for strep throat. Your child may have them, but it may just be a viral infection or another form of illness. That is why your tests must be done to confirm if it is strep throat.
When to see a doctor?
Essentially, you should see the doctor when you have one or more of the following symptoms.
- Sore throat that is accompanied by tender and swollen lymph glands
- It lasts more than 48 hours
- Sore throat accompanied by rashes
- A fever
- Problems breathing or swallowing
When you develop sand-paper like rashes that are red, starting from the face and the neck region and spreads to the rest of the body, it could be a sign of scarlet fever. Call the doctor right away if you have these symptoms.
Strep throat Causes
Strep throat is caused by bacteria Streptococcus pyogenes, also called group A streptococcus. This bacteria is highly contagious – it can spread through the air in the form of airborne droplets in case an infected person sneezes or coughs, or through sharing food and drinks with infected persons.
Viruses also can cause strep throat.
Strep throat Diagnosis
There are two types of tests:
Rapid strep test: this test gives results within 20 minutes. The doctor takes a swab from the throat of the patient. The doctor will have to hold the tongue of the patient down using a depressor, especially if it is a baby.
Throat culture: the doctor will also take a swab from the back of the throat, but the culture it, a process that takes two days. A streptococci bacteria grows if it is present.
Strep throat Treatment
Doctors usually prescribe antibiotics to fight the bacteria that cause strep throat. A complete treatment regimen lasts for ten days. The antibiotics relieve the sore throat and other symptoms, prevent the spread of the disease, and prevent the chances of complications. How to Get Rid of Strep Throat?
If a virus causes strep throat, antibiotics will not treat it.
Strep throat Complication
The common complications are:
- The spread of infection: the strep may spread causing infections in the middle ear, blood, tonsils, skin, and sinuses
- Inflammatory reactions: the common inflammatory response arising from strep infection include Scarlet fever (prominent rash), kidney inflammation, rheumatic fever (affects the skin, joints, heart, and the nervous system), and Poststreptococcal reactive arthritis.
Strep throat Home Remedies
How to Get Rid of Strep Throat?
Home treatment options include:
- Gargling warm saltwater
- Taking fever and pain-reducing medication like ibuprofen
- Sucking a throat lozenge
- Drinking warm liquids, e.g., broth
- Getting a lot of rest
Strep throat Prevention
- Clean your hands: wash your hands regularly with soap and clean water to prevent the spread of the bacteria.
- Don’t share utensils like cups, plates, spoon, folks, etc. with someone who is sick
- Covering the mouth when you sneeze or cough.