If you have ever experienced streptococcal pharyngitis, commonly referred to as strep throat, then you know that it can be a very painful experience. However, most people do not understand how it develops and what causes the symptoms and infection in the first place. Here is a brief overview of strep throat to improve your understanding.
What is strep throat?
Strep throat, or strep, is a contagious illness that is created from a bacterial infection occurring in both the throat and the tonsils. Specifically, Group A Streptococcus bacteria strands, which are transmitted via close contact with the saliva or nasal secretions from another infected individual, cause strep throat. Affecting many Americans every year, strep throat is found to frequently occur in situations or environments where individuals are living or interacting in close proximity to one another. For example, schools, campuses, day care facilities, and individual households. If you are living or interacting in a highly concentrated space, then you want to make sure you take precautions to avoid exposure.
What are the most common symptoms or signs associated with strep throat?
- Sudden onset of sore throat
- High fever
- Pain associated with swallowing and clearing throat
- White or yellow patches on back of throat or tonsils, and/or dark red spots lining the back of the throat
- Swelling may also occur in throat and around lymph nodes
*Important Note- A “Hot Potato” voice may be a sign of a life threatening emergency – see us immediately if you are experiencing this symptom.
As with most illnesses and diseases, the list of symptoms can be associated with many other types of infections or viruses, and that is why you should always consult your physician to make sure you get the true diagnosis and thus proper treatment. It is important to be careful when you see or witness signs of strep throat because in younger individuals, they may experience a severe sore throat and have similar symptoms to strep when it is in fact mononucleosis.
How do you diagnose and treat strep throat?
When you are seeking a diagnosis for your condition, your doctor should conduct a thorough physical exam and perform a strep throat test and/or a culture analysis.
Once the tests are performed and a diagnosis is made, antibiotics may be administered along with pain medications to temporarily alleviate some of the sensitivity in the throat. We at Health First want you to know the facts in regards to your condition. If you think you are experiencing strep throat, then come see us today. We have locations throughout the Charleston area, and as always, no appointments are necessary. You can stop by whenever you desire or need to pay us a visit. We have a 30-minute guarantee and rarely do you wait longer than 4 minutes!