Strep throat is a common throat infection caused by the bacterium Streptococcus pyogenes. It often results in a sore throat, fever, and swollen lymph nodes. Typically affecting children and teenagers, it can be quite painful but is usually treated effectively with antibiotics.
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What is Strep Throat?
Strep throat is a type of throat infection that you can catch from someone who is already infected. It’s caused by a specific kind of bacteria known as Streptococcus pyogenes. When you get strep throat, your throat feels very sore, and it might be hard to swallow.
Symptoms of Strep Throat
One of the most common signs of strep throat is a sore throat. You might feel like your throat is scratchy, and it can be very painful to swallow.
A fever often accompanies strep throat. If you have strep, you might feel very warm and have a temperature higher than normal.
Swollen Lymph Nodes
The lymph nodes in your neck might become swollen and tender if you have strep throat. This is your body’s way of fighting the infection.
How is Strep Throat Diagnosed?
When you go to the doctor with a sore throat, they may suspect strep throat. They’ll probably ask you about your symptoms and look at your throat. According to common medical practices, the doctor might take a throat swab to test for the presence of the bacteria causing strep throat.
Treatment for Strep Throat
If the test shows that you have strep throat, the doctor will usually prescribe ten days of antibiotics. These medicines help kill the bacteria and usually make you feel better in just a few days.
Rest and Hydration
Along with taking antibiotics, it’s important to rest and drink plenty of fluids. Warm tea or soup might feel good on your sore throat, too.
Prevention of Strep Throat
You might be wondering how you can avoid getting strep throat in the first place. Here are some simple tips:
- Wash Your Hands Often: Washing your hands with soap and water can help keep the bacteria away.
- Avoid Close Contact with Infected Individuals: If you know someone who has strep throat, try to avoid close contact with them until they are no longer contagious.
- Don’t Share Personal Items: Sharing things like cups, utensils, or toothbrushes with someone who has strep throat can spread the bacteria.
So, if you ever find yourself or your child with a sore throat and other symptoms that seem like strep throat, don’t hesitate to visit a doctor. They can check if it’s indeed strep throat and help you get on the path to feeling better with the right treatment.
Further Reading: How to Get Rid of a Sore Throat