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Strep throat is a common illness in children caused by bacteria. Many people use the terms sore throat, tonsillitis, and strep throat interchangeably but there are significant differences between these conditions. Strep throat is an infection of the mucous membranes lining the pharynx. Although it is most common in children and adolescents but it affects people of all age groups.

Children under age two and adults who are not around children are less likely to get strep throat. Strep throat is contagious, and children with strep throat should avoid returning to school or daycare until they have been both without fever and taking an antibiotic for 24 hours. Strep throat infections usually occur in the late fall, winter, and early spring.

Strep throat is also known as Streptococcal sore throat.

Causes of Strep throat
Strep throat is most common among children and adolescents, but adults can contract strep throat as well.

  • Strep throat is caused by a bacteria of group A Streptococcus
  • Strep throat is transmitted directly from person to person by coughing, sneezing, and close contact.
  • Strep throat is spread through food, when accidentally the food gets contaminated by coughing or sneezing.
  • Strep throat spread to People who smoke, who are fatigued, run down, or who live in damp, crowded conditions
  • Strep throat can be spread by direct contact with saliva or nasal discharge from an infected person.
  • Strep throat spread by contact with objects an infected person has touched

Strep throat is a bacterial infection and requires an antibiotic to treat it effectively.

Signs & Symptoms of Strep throat
The symptoms of strep throat usually include

  • Feeling of Illness & weakness
  • High fever
  • Stomach pain in the lower abdomen
  • Some of the symptoms of strep throat are:
  • A painful sore throat
  • Bright red tongue
  • Chills
  • Headache
  • Muscle aches
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Swollen lymph glands

Symptoms in Infants with strep throat:

  • Decrease in appetite
  • Low-grade fever
  • Thick colorful nose drainage

Symptoms in Young children with strep throat:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Roof of the mouth is red or has small red spots
  • Swelling in tonsils with White or yellow patches of pus

Diagnosis of Strep throat
The test for strep throat is a fairly simple one.

  • Rapid strep test: This test allows a patient to get a diagnosis of strep throat in just five minutes. If strep is present, antibiotic treatment can begin immediately
  • Throat Culture test: Doctors had to take a swab from the back of the throat and wait 24-48 hours to detect the presence of thriving strep cells.

Preventions of Strep throat
There is really no way to prevent getting strep throat. Some of the common ways to help prevent getting strep throat are:

  • Blow your noses, and before cooking or eating
  • Cover your mouth while sneezing
  • Do not share foods, drinks, napkins, handkerchiefs, or towels
  • Keep sores and cuts clean
  • Wash dishes, drinking glasses, and knives, forks, and spoons in hot, soapy water
  • Wash your hands after sneezing or after wiping or blowing your nose

Treatments of Strep throat
The infection itself signifies the presence of large amounts of strep bacteria in the throat and needs to be treated with antibiotics in order to be cured.

  • Adequate Rest and sleep: Rest and getting extra sleep can promote more rapid recovery, especially if a virus is the cause.
  • Fluids Intake: Drinking enough fluids is very important.
  • Gargling: Gargling with salt water is sometimes helpful. You may try mixing table salt with warm water and gargling.
  • Herbal teas: Herbal teas containing ingredients such as licorice have shown in studies to provide significant relief from a sore throat.
  • Lowering of Fever: Lowering of fever that is present can promote speedy recovery
  • Use of Antibiotics: Strep throat is treated with antibiotics. Patients with strep throat begin feeling better about 24 hours after starting antibiotics. Penicillin is usually prescribed.

Symptoms usually do not last longer than five days. During treatment, you may start to feel better within 4 days. It is very important to finish all your medicine to prevent complications.

When to Seek Medical Advice
If you see following signs with Strep throat, you can seek for medical advice:

  • If there is a noise during breathing
  • If there is bleeding in the throat
  • If there is Pus spots in the throat
  • If there is Severe throat pain
  • If there is Swelling of the neck
  • If you are Unable to swallow saliva
  • If you feel difficulty in breathing
  • If you feel difficulty swallowing food

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