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Strep Throat Symptoms and Treatment

Strep throat is a sore throat that results from a bacterial infection that causes inflammation and pain in the throat. Research from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that there are approximately 14,000 to 25,000 cases of the invasive group form of the infection each year, and in the last five years between 1,500 to 2,300 people die annually.

This article will provide an overview of strep throat symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment. With this information, you will be prepared to recognize the signs of strep throat and to take the necessary steps to get the treatment you need quickly and easily.

What is Strep Throat? 

Strep throat is a bacterial infection of the throat  and tonsils that causes inflammation and irritation. Strep throat is very common in children between the ages of 5 and 15, but can affect adults as well.

Strep throat is caused by the streptococcus bacteria, which is highly contagious. If the patient takes antibiotics, they can still be able to spread the infection 24 hours after beginning the medication. If they do not receive treatment, they will remain contagious for up to 3 weeks after getting the infection. Also, the risk of spreading the virus is highest when the patient is sick.

Strep throat is easy to treat with the right medical assistance, but if the condition is ignored and left untreated, it can lead to more serious complications such as rheumatic fever or kidney inflammation. At Urgent Care of the Palm Beaches, our medical professionals are skilled at treating strep throat and offer top-notch treatment for those suffering from it.

Symptoms of Strep Throat

If you are concerned that your sore throat might be caused by strep throat, her are some of the common symptoms you need to watch out for to prevent serious complications and the spread of the infection: 

  • Sore throat
  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • White patches on the tonsils
  • Red and swollen tonsils
  • Sudden fever 
  • Rashes
  • Nausea or vomiting (especially among children)
  • Body aches
  • Loss of appetite
  • Abnormal sense of taste
  • General discomfort

In children, the symptoms may include abdominal pain and a reddish rash on the body. Strep throat is commonly spread through direct person-to-person transmission, or if your eyes, nose or mouth are exposed. For children, they often get infected by putting things in their mouths or when teething. 

If you suspect you, your child, or someone you know may have strep throat, it is important to visit a medical specialist right away.

Diagnosis of Strep Throat

Diagnosis of strep throat is based on symptoms, a physical examination, and laboratory tests. The doctor may look for swollen tonsils, redness in the throat, white patches on the throat or tonsils. They also do a throat swab or a rapid strep test which can determine if the infection is caused by strep bacteria.

If the test is negative but the doctor still suspects that you might be infected, they may order a throat culture to confirm the diagnosis. This process involves collecting a sample of cells and fluid from the throat and tonsils. The sample is then examined for the presence of bacteria or other microorganisms that can cause infection or inflammation. It could take 2 to 5 days to receive the results.

How to treat Strep Throat?

In some cases, strep throat can be resolved on its own but a common treatment involves antibiotics. The doctor may prescribe a 10-day course of antibiotics and it is important to take the entire course of prescription even if the symptoms improve. This is to prevent the infection from coming back.

In addition to antibiotics, other treatments may be recommended to relieve the symptoms of strep throat such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) to reduce fever and pain. Gargling with warm salt water or a throat spray or lozenge may also be helpful. It is important to drink plenty of fluids to keep the throat moist and reduce pain.

To prevent the spread of the infection in your home:

  • Keep your utensils and drinking glasses separate from your family’s, and wash it with hot water
  • Avoid sharing food, drinks, napkins, and towels from your loved ones
  • Cover your mouth when sneezing or coughing
  • Regularly wash your hands
  • Use a new set of toothbrush after the antibiotic treatment
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When to Visit a Doctor for Strep Throat?

If you suspect that you or someone you love might have a strep throat infection, it is recommended to seek medical help so that treatment can start as soon as possible.

If you are searching on Google and looking for a “reliable urgent care near me”, look no further. Urgent Care of the Palm Beaches provides high quality and individualized care for patients with suspected strep throat infection seeking consultation, examination, or treatment.

Our clinics are strategically located to provide patients with easy access to our healthcare services. You may visit one of our facilities locations near you: 

For any concerns, or to book an appointment in advance, you may contact us at (561) 328-8433. 

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The material contained on this site is for informational purposes only and DOES NOT CONSTITUTE THE PROVIDING OF MEDICAL ADVICE, and is not intended to be a substitute for independent professional medical judgment, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your health. 

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