What Is Strep Throat?
Strep throat is a throat infection that is caused by group A Streptococcus bacteria. This infection causes inflammation and scratchiness in your throat. Though this disease can happen to a person of any age, children of age 5 to 15 are most vulnerable to it.
It is a contagious disease that can spread from one person to another by sneezing or coughing. If the infection is not treated at right time, it can lead to complications like rheumatic fever and damage of one or more heart valves.
Strep Throat Symptoms
Strep throat symptoms can vary according to the severity of it. Some people have mild symptoms like a sore throat, while other experience symptoms like fever and chills. Here are the most common symptoms of sore throat:
- Appetite loss
- Swelling in lymph nodes at the neck region
- Sudden fever
- Sore throat
- Trouble while swallowing food and liquids
Typically, these symptoms take five days to show up after coming in contact with the strep bacterium.
Who Is At Risk?
There are certain factors that increase the chances of a person getting affected by the bacteria. These strep throat risk factors are:
- Age: This infection occurs mostly to the children of young age.
- Season: Though the infection can happen on any day of the year, winter and early spring are the seasons when most cases of strep thoat are registered.
- Infected family member: If someone in your home is affected by the disease, your chances of getting infected by the bacterium get very high.
Strep Throat Causes
The list of causes of strep throat is not very long. It is only caused by group A Streptococcus bacteria. Reasons for strep throat spread can be:
- Sneezing or coughing by an infected person near a healthy person.
- Sharing food or liquids with an infected person can also spread the bacteria.
- Touching objects like infected doorknobs or faucets and then touching your mouth, nose and eyes.
How Is Strep Throat Diagnosed?
Strep throat diagnosis is done by doctors through following methods:
- Physical examination: Your doctor will check your throat to see any sign of inflammation. Redness, white patches on neck, swollen lymp nodes gives the indication of infection.
- Rapid strep test: This test is done to determine the type of infection. Doctors swab the throat with a cotton to take the sample. This sample is sent to laboratory to check the type of infection. It is called rapid test as it takes only 5 minutes to get the result of this test.
Sometimes, even rapid test does not confirm the presence of strep throat infection. If your rapid strep throat comes out negative, but your doctor still suspects strep throat, then your sample might be sent to the lab again to do further tests. These tests might take days to give results.
How Is Strep Throat Treated?
Strep throat treatment is quite easy to get done as the infection is caused by a single type of bacteria. Medicine for strep throat is given by the doctor to kill the bacteria and cure symptoms. It is necessary to complete the course of medication for strep throat cure even after the symptoms has gone.
If you are someone who is looking for strep throat diagnosis or treatment, carefit can prove very helpful for you. We have a team of experienced doctors who provide best consultation at reasonable prices. To get an appointment with a pediatrician, go to carefit website or app.
How Can Strep Throat be Prevented?
Vaccine for strep throat has not been discovered yet. Hence, the best treatment for this infection is its prevention. Following methods are prescribed by doctors as prevention of strep throat:
- Wash your hands regularly. A great of number of bacteria reside on your hands. To make sure you do not get infected by those bacteria, you must wash your hands with soap or hand sanitizer.
- Do not share food or liquids with an infected person. If someone in your family gets infected by strep throat, make sure you do not mix up their clothes, towel and bedsheets with others. Even dishes of infected person should be washes separately.
- If you are infected with strep throat, keep a handkerchief handy. Sneeze and cough in that handkerchief only. It will help keep a check on the infection spread.