Strep Throat FAQs

Strep Throat FAQs

Mar 01, 2020

In most cases, scratchy and itchy throats are associated with a sore throat. However, the symptoms could also be a sign of strep throat. Interestingly, strep throat is a cause of sore throat, but it only accounts for a small percentage of cases.

What is Strep Throat?

Did you know strep comes from the name Streptococcal bacteria? That means it is a bacterial infection that affects the throat and your tonsils. Although the infection can affect people of all ages, it is more common in children between the ages of five and 15 years. Furthermore, the infection is common during the winter seasons, though it can occur at any time.

Strep Throat Vs. Sore Throat: How Can You Tell the Difference?

Although they resemble each other, sore throat and strep throat are different. Strep throat is a bacterial infection and the least common cause of sore throat.

Sore throat, on the other hand, is a viral infection, although it can also be caused by cold, acid reflux, sinus infection, and irritants.

What Are the Symptoms of Strep Throat?

Apart from a scratchy and itchy throat, you may also experience red swollen tonsils, and pain when swallowing. Other strep throat symptoms include fever, headaches, rashes, nausea, body aches, and swollen lymph nodes.

Please note, you can have these symptoms and not have strep throat. That’s why you need to walk into a clinic near you for a proper diagnosis.

Is Strep Throat Contagious?

Yes, it is contagious. Strep throat is an airborne infection, meaning the bacteria is transmitted through air droplets. You can get infected by coming in close contact with an infected person.

Keep in mind, some people may be carriers and therefore do not show any symptoms of the infection. You can protect yourself by maintaining a proper hygiene practice, like washing your hands often especially before eating.

Strep Throat Vs. Cold and Flu Infection

Though often confused, strep throat and common cold or flu are different. The common cold is caused by different types of viruses and its symptoms include coughing, stuffy nose, and sneezing.

As aforementioned, bacteria are the primary cause of strep throat and it triggers inflammation, swollen lymph nodes and tonsils, belly pain, and severe throat.

Both strep throat and the common cold can be managed at home. However, if the symptoms are severe or have a high fever accompanied by insomnia, you need to visit an emergency room near you.

Does Strep Throat Cause any Complications?

Yes, if strep throat is not treated properly, it could lead to several complications such as:

  • Rheumatic fever affects the joints, brain, heart, and skin. If the strep throat is partially or not treated properly, it can cause an abnormal immune response where your immune system attacks the organs and joints. Furthermore, you can also suffer from kidney failure.
  • Pneumonia
  • Abscess in the tonsils

How Can You Treat Strep Throat?

Since it is a bacterial infection, strep throat antibiotics will suffice. But, remember it is important to complete the entire 10-day dose even when the symptoms improve. Discontinuing the medications before the prescribed tablets are done can leave a bacterial residue.

Other treatment options include drinking warm fluids, saltwater, lozenges, and rest. Plus, avoid acidic and citrus fruits they will make the situation worse.

Can I Be Vaccinated Against Strep Throat?

No, you can’t as there is no vaccine against Streptococcal bacteria. However, you can prevent the risk of getting the infection with these tips:

  • Practice proper hygiene especially when you are close to an infected person.
  • Avoid contact with the person and also don’t share the kitchen utensils with them
  • Stay away from crowded places during winter and fall season.

Take Action

Strep throat can be treated at home with antibiotics. However, as easy as it sounds, without proper care, the infection could cause other complications. Ensure you complete your antibiotic dosage as prescribed by the doctor. Additionally, pay attention to the symptoms, if the fever worsens, it is crucial to visit Austin Express ER. Our emergency room is fully equipped to handle different emergencies including severe fever.

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