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Everything You Need to Know about Strep Throat

Posted on Dec 22, 2014

Strep throat is pretty common and the symptoms are usually relatively mild. However, this infection is most common in children, more than in adults. Streptococcal infections are often located in the upper respiratory tract (tonsillitis/pharyngitis, otitis, sinusitis). Since it can easily be confused with a plain sore throat, there are a lot of websites dedicated to helping people understand this condition. www.strepthroatmd.com is one of the best such websites as it tackles all of the this condition’s aspects. If you think you may suffer from a strep throat, here’s everything you need to know about strep throat.
Everything You Need to Know about Strep Throat Picture Everything You Need to Know about Strep Throat Picture

What complications can occur during a strep infection?

Of all the different types of bacteria and viruses that can cause throat infections, group A streptococcus often causes the greatest concern because if left untreated, or if treated incorrectly, can lead to severe complications. These include acute rheumatic fever and rheumatic heart disease and kidney disease called acute glomerulonephritis.
Group A streptococcus causes a mild infection called impetigo skin, but can be very serious and cause infections of the blood and other tissues. A form of invasive streptococcal disease (Necrotizing Fasciitis – necrotizing fasciitis) can cause some serious damage tissue, it was called “carnivorous bacteria” (the flesh-eating bacteria). The proper care of upper respiratory tract infections can reduce the possibility of all these complications.

Who can suffer from strep throat?

This disease is often seen in children. In fact, this type of strep is considered an “occupational” disease of school-age children. Infection can also occur in younger children and in adults or elderly people. It is estimated that annually approximately 4-5 million cases of streptococcal pharyngitis occur in the United States.

How are streptococcal infections transmitted?

Group A strep can spread very easily in a normal crowd. Streptococcus is transmitted primarily through sputum (small droplets removed by sneezing, coughing, nasal secretions). It’s is transmitted by touching the door handle or on another surface and then transferred into the nose and throat. Kitchen utensils and other objects in the bathroom are common sources of transmission of infection – so it is not surprising that streptococcal infections spread easily in kindergartens, schools, military units, offices and other crowded environments.

What are the signs streptococcal infection?

If you think you experience some or all of these symptoms, it’s advisable to see a doctor:

  • difficulty swallowing
  • swollen neck
  • red and enlarged tonsils
  • headache
  • mild stomach pain and vomiting
  • fever
  • discomfort
  • loss of appetite and nausea

How to treat a strep throat infection?

Your doctor will prescribe an oral antibiotic based on penicillin, amoxicillin, azithromycin, clarithromycin, clindamycin or a cephalosporin-based medicine. Penicillin may be administered by injection sometimes – especially for small children. These antibiotics reduce the duration and severity of symptoms and risk of complications or the possibility of transmitting the infection to others. Stopping medication too early may lead to recurrence of disease and serious complications like rheumatic fever or infection of kidneys. Besides antibiotics, your doctor may recommend acetaminophen to relieve pain and reduce fever.