Beware of Strep Season

What is Strep Throat?

Strep throat is a bacterial infection, causing symptoms like inflammation and pain in the throat and/or tonsils. It’s a very common condition and is typically caused by group of bacterium commonly referred to as Streptococcus Pyogenesor Group A Streptococcus (GAS). This type of bacteria is found in the nose and/or mouth. Strep throat is most often found in children between the ages of 5 and 15, but it also affects adults. It is an infection usually passed on through airborne transmission, sneezing and coughing. 

Strep throat usually occurs in late fall and early spring, and it’s estimated that there are over 600 million cases of it worldwide every year. 

What Are the Symptoms of Strep Throat? 

Symptoms of strep throat will generally start to develop within the first 3 – 5 days of exposure to the bacteria. 

The severity of strep throat are always going to vary from one person to the next. Some people may experience mild symptoms like a sore throat. Others will have more severe symptoms, including things like high fever and the inability to swallow with ease. Here are some very common symptoms associated with this infection: 

  • Sore, red and/or scratchy throat with white patches in back of throat or roof of mouth
  • difficulty swallowing
  • swollen lymph glands
  • headache
  • chills
  • cough
  • hoarseness
  • high fever
  • nausea and/or vomiting
  • fatigue 

There are cases where the pain in a person’s throat can be so severe that it results in either drooling or dehydration, due to not being able to swallow very well. 

When is a Good Time to See Your Doctor, if You Suspect Strep Throat? 

Even though not all typical symptoms are indicative of a strep infection, research has shown that treatment administered within the first 48 hours after symptoms occur may reduce the length of the symptoms by one to two days. So, it’s important to have your doctor diagnose you. 

Contact your doctor immediately if you suspect that you may have strep throat or are experiencing any of the following:

  • sore throat that lasts longer than a couple of days
  • a sore throat with white patches in the throat or mouth
  • dark, red splotches or spots on the tonsils or the top of the mouth
  • a sore throat with a fine, sandpaper-like pink rash on the skin
  • difficulty breathing
  • difficulty swallowing 

Diagnosis and Treatment 

If you are dealing with a persistent sore throat, your doctor will examine you for any inflammation. He or she may also check for swollen lymph nodes and any other possible symptoms. If your doctor suspects you have strep throat, you may go through what’s called a rapid strep test in his/her office. 

If antibiotic treatment is required, it’s important to note that a person with strep throat is still considered contagious 24 to 48 hours after treatment begins. Anybody with strep not treated with antibiotics may be contagious up to three to four weeks, even if they are no longer experiencing any type of symptoms. 

In many cases, if antibiotic treatment is necessary, doctors may prescribe antibiotics to the entire family of an infected member diagnosed with strep throat. Because it is so highly contagious, this will help to prevent the illness from spreading throughout the household. 

Think You May Have Strep? Contact Trophy Club Family Medicine 

For more information about strep throat or to set an appointment, contact one of our physicians at Trophy Club Family Medicine at 817-430-9111.

Contact Us

Trophy Club Family Medicine
945 Trophy Club Drive
Trophy Club, TX 76262

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