What are the signs and symptoms of Strep Throat?
Adults with strep throat may have a sore throat, a fever and swollen neck glands. They usually dont have a cough or a runny nose. Children with strep throat have a sore throat and may have tummy pain or a red rash with small spots. The rash is worse under the arms and in skin creases.
How is Strep Throat spread?
The strep bacteria is found in an infected person's saliva. The infection spreads through the air when the infected person talks, coughs or sneezes. The spread of infection can be stopped by treating the infected person with an antibiotic.
It is difficult to diagnose strep throat just by looking at the throat. The physician has to take a culture (or swab) of the throat to see if strep bacteria are present. If strep throat is diagnosed, the physician will prescribe an antibiotic, usually penicillin. This medication comes in the form of a pill, a liquid or an injection. If treatment is begun soon after the infection has started, the child will feel better very soon. This treatment may also prevent the serious complications that can result from strep throat.
Who is at risk of getting Strep Throat?
School-aged children have the highest risk of contracting both strep and viral sore throat, as does anyone who comes into contact with someone who has the disease. The chances of getting a viral sore throat are also greater if you have diabetes or lowered immunity due to excess fatigue, poor eating habits, poor hygiene, or a recent illness. Smoking and secondhand smoke also increase your risk.
What are ways of preventing Strep Throat?
There is really no way to keep from getting strep throat. If someone in your family has it, make sure they cover their mouth when they sneeze to keep from spreading the bacteria. Everyone in your family should wash their hands after sneezing, blowing their noses, and before cooking or eating. Wash dishes, drinking glasses, and knives, forks, and spoons in hot, soapy water. Keep sores and cuts clean.
What are treatments for Strep Throat?
Taking ibuprofen or acetaminophen. Children should not take aspirin. Aspirin can cause Reyes syndrome - a serious illness - and in some cases, death when it is used in children under 18 who have the flu.
Gargling with warm salt water
For adults and older children, sucking on throat lozenges, hard candy or pieces of ice.
Eating soft foods, drinking cool drinks or warm liquids or sucking on popsicles.
Health Web sites
The Scoop on Strep Throat
© 2001 by the American Academy of Family Physicians.
The Scoop on Strep Throat ©1995-2003 The Nemours Foundation
Sore Throat, FAQS. University of Pittsburg Medical Center. UPMC. Copyright 2003
Susan T. and Scott S.
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