Strep throat is a bacterial infection and causes inflammation and pain in the throat. It is also known as pharyngitis or streptococcal pharyngitis. Strep throat is highly contagious and can spread with nasal secretions and saliva. It most often affects children under 16 years old, but also may affect adults. This disease occurs quite often in the winter and spring seasons.
Strep Throat Symptoms
The severity of the strep throat can vary from person to person. Some people experience mild symptoms like sore throat while others have more serious symptoms, such as fever and difficulty swallowing. Common symptoms of strep throat:
- sudden fever, especially 38.5 ˚C or above
- redness in the throat
- vomiting or nausea
- stomach and/or muscle pain
- loss of appetite
- jugulodigastric nodes
- difficulty swallowing
Symptoms of the strep throat typically develop within five days of exposure to bacteria.
A test called throat culture is necessary to make sure a person has streptococcal pharyngitis. This test determines if your sore throat is caused by a strep infection or another bacteria/microbe. To do this, your doctor touches a long cotton swab behind your throat and takes a sample and sends it to the lab. The results come out in about five minutes.
Even without this test, a possible case of strep throat can be detected thanks to the possible symptoms. However, a sore throat has some common symptoms with other diseases. Therefore, it may be difficult to understand that a person has strep throat without a throat culture and rapid strep test.
Strep Throat Treatment
The infection sometimes may disappear by itself without any treatment. But, some individuals may feel the effect of the infection more severe. Moreover, strep throat infection is an infectious disease until it is treated. That’s why it’s always a good idea to consult a doctor.
If the doctor diagnose a strep throat infection, he will probably prescribe an antibiotic to treat the infection. These drugs prevent the spread of bacteria and infections. There are several types of antibiotics, but most common ones are penicillin and amoxicillin. If you are allergic to this type of medication, inform your doctor. It is very important that you finish your antibiotic medicine for your treatment to work. In addition, your doctor can prescribe painkillers or antipyretics.
Apart from antibiotics, the following various home care treatments can improve the disease:
- drinking warm liquids (lemon water and hot tea)
- consuming cold liquids to help numb the throat
- Using nonprescriptive pain relievers such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen
- Sucking a lozenge
- Adding half a teaspoon of salt to a glass of water and gargle.
Related Post: Natural Remedies for Flu and Cold