Strep throat must not be ignored because this can often times cause some complications such as rheumatic fever as well as kidney inflammation.
Rheumatic fever can actually lead to inflamed and painful joints, heart valve damage, and a rash.
The cause of strep throat is due to bacteria, commonly known as group A streptococcus or Streptococcus pyogenes. This type of bacteria is highly endemic.
In point of fact, it can be easily spread by airborne droplets when the infected person sneezes or coughs. In the same way, it can be spread through shared drinks or foods or when you pick up the bacteria from any surface such as a doorknob and then touch your eyes, mouth, or nose.
The usual signs and symptoms of strep throat compose of:
- Difficulty swallowing
- Throat pain
- Swollen and red tonsils, and at times, there are streak of pus or white patches
- Tender and swollen lymph nodes in the neck area
- Tiny red spots on the hard or soft palate (This is the spot at the back of the roof of the mouth)
- Stomach ache and sometimes cases of vomiting, especially for younger children
When do you need to go to a doctor?
It is advised to call the doctor immediately if you or your child experiences any of the following signs and symptoms:
- Swelling or pain in the joints, rash, fever, or shortness of breath after a strep infection, even as long as 21 days after infection. Such symptoms can be indicators of rheumatic fever.
- A sore throat accompanied by a rash
- A sore throat accompanied by swollen and tender lymph nodes
- If strep has been diagnosed and you do not feel any better even if you’re taking antibiotics for a day or two
- Difficulty swallowing and problems in breathing
- When you notice that your urine is cola-colored for over a week. This may be a sign of kidney inflammation.
- A sore throat that lasts longer than forty-eight hours
- When you or your child has fever over 38.3 degrees Celcius and/or if the fever lasts for over forty-eight hours
Drugs and Treatment
There are plenty of medications which are available to relieve strep throat symptoms, prevent it from spreading, and to treat it.
Doctors typically prescribe oral antibiotics like:
In some cases, this may be given in the form of an injection, especially for those who are suffering from swallowing difficulty or those who vomit.
This comes from the same family as penicillin; however, it is commonly a preferred option for kids since this comes with a better taste, and there are also chewable tablets available.
On the other hand, there are also symptom relievers:
The doctor may prescribe over-the-counter medications that are intended to reduce fever and bring relief to throat pain such as:
- Acetaminophen (Tylenol, etc.)
- Ibuprofen (Motrin IB, Advil, etc.)
To prevent strep infection, it is helpful to consider the following:
- Cover your mouth.
- Make proper hand washing a habit.
- Avoid sharing personal items.