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About Strep Throat

Anyone can end up getting strep through, however it is most common among school-age children and teenagers. The infections occur most frequently during the school years whenever large groups of children and teenagers are gathered in close quarters. A streptococcus, which is the bacteria causing strep throat, has a tendency to hang out in the throat and nose, so that regular activities such as shaking hands, coughing and sneezing can spread the infection easily from one individual to the next. When someone has strep throat and it isn’t treated, then most likely the infection will be spread whenever the symptoms are the most severe. However, other people can still be infected for as long as 3 weeks.

That is why it is critical to teach children how important it is to wash their hands – practicing good hygiene can reduce the chances of catching contagious diseases such as strep throat. Strep throat symptoms, which are very common among children and teenagers, include swollen, red tonsils, stomach pain and fever. Usually strep throat throat needs to be treated with antibiotics. A children should be able to return to play and school within a couple of days with the right medical care – as well as plenty of fluids and rest.

Strep throat is a kind of bacterial infection. It makes your throat feel scratchy and sore. Strep throat only accounts for a small percent of sore throats. If strep throat is left untreated it may cause complications like rheumatic fever or kidney inflammation. Rheumatic fever might lead to inflamed and painful joints, heart valve damage or a certain kind of rash. Strep throat most commonly occurs among children, however it affects individuals of every age. If your child or you has any symptoms or signs of strep throat, visit your doctor to receive prompt treatment and testing.

Symptoms and signs of strep throat may include the following:

  • Body aches
  • Vomiting or nausea, particularly in younger children
  • Rash
  • Headache
  • Fever
  • Tender, swollen lymph nodes within your neck
  • Tiny red spots on the back part of the roof of your mouth (hard or soft palate)
  • Swollen and red tonsils, at times with streaks of pus or white patches
  • Painful swallowing
  • Throat pain that tends to come on quickly

It is possible that your child or you might have a number of these symptoms and signs but still not have strep throat. These symptoms and signs could be caused by a viral infection or another kind of illness. That is why doctors will usually have tests done for strep throat specifically. You might have also been exposed to an individual who has strep but doesn’t show any symptoms.

When group A streptococcus bacteria causes a throat infection, or strep throat, there are two reasons why it is worrisome – first of all it is contagious and second, if it is not treated, it could result in serious complications which include kidney inflammation and rheumatic fever. Also, although strep throat can occur in adults and children of any age, it occurs most commonly in those who are 5 to 15 years old. Where and when it is the most frequently? Streptococcal infection usually increased in late fall as well as early spring in those places where individuals are in close contact with one another, like in offices, daycare centers and schools. Sharing soft toys, towels, handkerchiefs and napkins may be ways of spreading the disease. The disease may also be passed from one individual to the next through sharing bowls, plates, glasses and utensils with individuals who either have been diagnosed with strep throat or show symptoms of this disease. Another risk factor is being exposed to sores from strep skin infection.

Sore throat:

The most typical and widely prevalent symptoms that is associated with having strep throat is a throat ache. It causes a raw feeling, similar to having an itch in the back of your throat. Individuals who suffer from the condition might find it hard to swallow and speak loud due to the pain. Although it is the most distinct strep throat symptom, it is not an uncommon condition and there are several other diseases that might cause it. Therefore, during the early stages of an infection when a sore throat might be only one of a couple symptoms to occur, it might not be possible to get an accurate diagnosis with just one visit to the doctor. As more symptoms start appearing, detection becomes more specific and easier.

Swollen, Red Tonsils:

In some strep throat cases, the infection might spread into the tonsils and cause swelling and redness. Yellowish or white spots might also appear on one’s tonsils. There might also be streaks of pus that cover the tonsils, which is easy to see when the throat is investigated. In rare cases, there might also be red spots that appear on the tissue that surrounds the tonsils, i.e. the soft or hard palette (the area on the far back of the mouth). Quite often, those symptoms might lead to a condition that is confused with tonsillitis. If there are any doubts about what is causing the inflamed disease, usually a doctor will order to have a Strep test done to check to see if the infection is being caused by streptococcus bacteria. If the test is positive, then it is a clear indication and antibiotics will be started right away.

Inflamed Lymph Nodes within the Neck:

Strep throat might not only cause inflammation within the throat’s lymphoid tissues, i.e., the tonsils, but in the neck as well. Swollen lymph nodes in the neck indicate that the infection is seriously and rapidly spreading. The neck area might be lumpy to touch and easily to notice by an physician who is experienced. After treatment has started, however, most likely this type of inflammation will most likely disappear most quickly. The bottom line here is if the neck area starts swelling up along with a sore throat (and/or with other symptoms), then you should immediately seek medical attention. It is very important not to undertake self-medication at this point after the development of advanced symptoms.

Sudden Fever:

Sudden onset of a high fever, of 102 degree F or more usually, is another common symptoms that strep throat patients get. Unlike fevers that are caused by other types of infections where general malaise or chills precede them or otherwise rises gradually, with strep throat the bacteria causing the sudden fever might not cause any chills. The high fever, in several cases, might cause people to self-medicate, but this is not advisable at all in this type of situation. This condition needs to be treated with antibiotics and consuming antiviral or other powerful medications might cause side effects.

Vomiting and/or Stomach Ache:

There are some cases, especially among young children, where strep throat will end up producing symptoms that appear to be unrelated to the condition of the throat. Vomiting spells, nausea, and/or stomach aches might occur although they aren’t very common. Vomiting may lead to dehydration eventually in young patients. Whenever these symptoms are present, they might persist as long as the swollen lymph nodes and throat ache are still there. In those cases, a strep throat might become very debilitating, and impede regular functioning of the individual who is affected. The nausea and stomach ache typically appear after or along with the throat-related symptoms appearing. that reduces the chances of this condition being mistaken during the early stages for being a gastric problem.

Fatigue and Headaches:

Strep throat is a common kind of bacterial infection where mild body aches are produced in addition to other specific symptoms. A majority of patients complain that they have nagging headaches over the course of their infection in addition to general feelings of fatigue and ill-health. Fatigue is due to the immune system being overworked; it has to work hard to get the infection under control, which uses up the energy reserves of the body, which causes the suffering individual to feel malaise and tiredness. These symptoms, especially the fatigue, might last for a few days following recovery also. However, by drinking enough water, eating a healthy diet and resting, a patient may expect to start feeling energetic and healthy in under one week.

Skin Rash:

Frequently, strep throat, particularly in the elderly and young children with weak immune systems, will have a skin rash that accompanies it. Strep bacteria within the body causes an allergic reaction, and this then causes a rash (or red bumps).This rash may develop on the back, torso, chest or neck. A fever-like rash might also raise when you have strep throat. After you notice your body having a rash, contact your doctor who might prescribe antibiotics if they detect a strep infection. Prescription medication might help with reducing infection symptoms and speed your healing process up.

Painful Swallowing:

When you have strep throat it might make it hard to swallow food or drink enough fluids to combat your infection; it those cases it is recommended to try drinking gentle fluids, such as herbal teas and warm soup. When younger children have strep throat they don’t feel like doing a lot of eating due to their throats having irritated tissues. However, an individual needs to stay hydrated to strengthen their immune system and fight the illness.

Muscle Pain:

A bacterial strep infection, like other illnesses, can cause general malaise and achy muscles. Many patients who suffer from strep throat have swollen lymph nodes, back pain, headaches and stiff joints. The area surrounding the neck becomes hot to the touch. Amoxicillin, penicillin and antibiotics need to be taken for 10 days at least after the symptoms have completely disappeared. When the infection is eradicated, the antibiotics can help your throat feel a lot better in addition to relieving your muscle aches.

White Patchy Throat:

Dry ambient air or winter allergies my mimic strep infection through making the back of your throat scratchy, inflamed and raw. However, quite often it is found that strep infection is what is causing the condition. In extreme strep throat cases, the back of your throat will appear red and have white patchy skin. Simply by opening your mouth your doctor can confirm that you have a strep infection.

Strep throat, or streptococcal pharyngitis, occurs whenever a certain kind of bacterial infection causes those tissues at the back of your throat and mouth to become sore irritated and inflamed. This is caused by the group A streptococcus bacteria. Strep throat, unlike a majority of other common sore throat causes, is treated with antibiotics in order to prevent rare complications and fight the infection.

Strep throat may occur at any age, however it is most common among young adults and children. Rates of infection peak during late fall as well as winter and early spring times. Strep throat can be quite contagious and gets spread among people who have close contact, like those in daycare or school settings and among family members. The strep throat symptoms that are reported the most frequently are fever, tender swollen lymph nodes within the neck, difficulty or pain with swallowing, white patches on the back of one’s throat, swollen, red tonsils and throat pain. Strep throat might cause nausea, upset stomach or a rash at times.

It might be hard for health workers to tell whether or not throat pain is being cause by the strep germ or a viral infection. In order to diagnose a strep infection, healthcare workers might examine the throat or use throat swabs or rapid diagnosis kits. Usually it takes several day to get results back from throat swabs. Rapid test results might be ready in under an hour, but aren’t always as accurate as the throat swab and are not available in some countries.