Strep throat is a bacterial infection in the throat caused by group A Streptococcus bacteria that will make your throat feel sore and scratchy. However, in most common cases, viruses are the cause of sore throat. It generally affects children and adults of all ages, but most common in children between the age groups 5 to15. Also Read: Sore Throat: Know The Causes, Symptoms, And Treatment
The streptococcal bacteria is very contagious and can spread via airborne drops when an infected person sneezes or coughs or sharing food or drinks. An individual can also be infected when the bacteria get contacted with surfaces and can easily transmit them to the nose, mouth or eyes. Also Read: Cough: Know About Types, Signs And Symptoms
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The common signs and symptoms of strep throat include:
- Intense throat pain
- Pain while eating or drinking
- Red, swollen tonsils
- Red spots on the soft and hard palate of the mouth
- Presence of swollen lymph nodes in the neck
- Nausea or vomiting, especially in younger children
- Aches and body pain
Sometimes the child may have all the symptoms but do not have a strep throat, where it could be a viral infection or other illness. Seek immediate medical attention if you persistently suffer from these symptoms:
- Sore throat with tender and swollen lymph glands
- Sore throat persists for more than 2 days
- High fever
- Rashes accompanied by sore throat
- Breathing difficulty
Diagnosis And Treatment
The doctors will generally perform a thorough physical evaluation and observe the signs and symptoms and recommend certain blood work which includes rapid antigen tests to determine the presence of strep bacteria and throat culture tests.
Doctors generally recommend prescription medications to treat strep throat, ease symptoms and avert spreading and complications. Oral antibiotics are given within 2 days of the onset of ailment, which helps to reduce the duration, lessen the severity and prevent the transmission of infection. It is vital to complete the course of antibiotics as partial discontinuing of medication can result in recurrences and severe complications. Sometimes over-the-counter medications are also suggested to provide relief from throat pain, body aches and fever.
Follow the below preventive measures to alleviate the symptoms of strep throat:
Take Adequate Rest
Proper rest assist the body to battle infections and if you suffer from strep throat work from home to contain the spread of infection. If the child is sick, keep the kid at home until fever and other symptoms settle and are regular with medications.
Drink Enough Fluid
Adequate hydration maintains throat lubricated and moist aiding swallowing and prevents dehydration.
Have a soft, bland diet and soothing foods such as broths, soups, mashed fruits, rice porridges, mashed vegetables, yoghurt and boiled eggs. Frozen fruit pops, yohurt, sherbet are some of the cold foods calming foods for the throat. Avoid spicy and acidic foods.
Salt Water Gargle
Gargling with warm salt water is an effective home remedy recommended by doctors to heal the strep throat. Gargle several times in a day, add ¼ teaspoon of salt to one cup of warm water, mix well and gargle. Make sure to split out the water after gargling.
Smoking can irritate a sore throat and elevates the risk of other infections and tonsillitis. It is advised to avoid fumes from paint, disinfectant and cleaning products that can irritate the throat and respiratory organs.