The throat is one sensitive part of the human body that often gets affected when certain infections trigger havoc in our body. Strep throat is just one such kind of an infection that could cause serious discomfort in the person affected by the disease. The strep throat infection is triggered by the attack of the streptococcus bacteria is known to cause symptoms like pain, soreness and swelling around the back of the throat. Strep throat can happen to both children and adults; however the frequency of this disease affecting children in the age group of 5 to 15 years is much higher. The infection can easily spread through sneezing and cough droplets falling from the infected person to another, causing the infection to spread.
5 Signs That Indicate You Are Suffering from a Strep Throat
A strep throat infection is often confused with a normal sore throat, however this one is a little more than that and requires a complete course of antibiotic treatment. While it feels pretty much like a viral cold and cough, here are 5 signs that will help you mark the distinction:
- Sudden soreness in the throat: Strep throat starts off all of a sudden and doesn’t quite take very long to develop. Just like a sore throat which is triggered by the usual cold and cough allergies, strep throat infection develops within a time frame of 24hours. The soreness is so extreme that t almost feels like razor blades in the throat. It becomes quite difficult to even gulp down your own saliva because the throat gets inflamed and really hurts. Sometimes it could also cause dehydration along with the fever which leads to dry mouth making the matters worse.
- High or Low Fever: Fever is a normal phenomenon with other forms of infections too but not with conditions like tonsillitis which have other features similar to strep throat. A fever of 101 deg or more could occur in case of a strep throat infection.
- Headaches and body pains: Aches and pains are again common symptoms of flu, hence one can easily get confused taking them to be symptoms of a flu rather than strep throat. Hence, to determine the exact cause the doctor takes a swab from the throat to send for a lab culture allowing the bacteria to grow before the treatment is started off. If you are looking seriously ill and the doctor thinks all the symptoms to be that of strep throat, then he may prescribe the antibiotic right away.
- Nausea or vomiting: Strep throat is often accompanied with some nausea and vomiting which further causes dehydration in the body. People can face this symptom with normal flu as well; hence a culture swab is necessary to diagnose strep throat to be the reason of the symptoms.
- Rashes and aches: Rashes are not a definitive symptom of strep throat but can occur for a number of people. It is best to show a doctor to learn if the rashes are because of a strep throat or any other form of medical condition.
Treating Strep Throat Infection
Strep throat infection is primarily treated using antibiotic medication that help in overpowering the infectious bacteria, and preventing it from further spreading the infection. There are certain antibiotics to which the streptococcus bacteria shows its sensitivity. The antibiotics are only helpful in treating infections that are caused by bacteria and not on treating infections caused by viruses. Antibiotics help in the course of treatment in the following ways:
- Help in tackling the symptoms like soreness of the throat and other such symptoms triggered by the strep throat infection
- Especially helpful in case of children as it stops the spread of bacteria and aid their delicate immune systems to fight the germs faster and better
- A complete course of antibiotic can completely eradicate the infection from the affected person’s body thereby preventing the spread of the infection to others
- Helps in the prevention of complicated infections like the sinus, tonsils and rheumatic fever
Doctors normally prescribe penicillin or amoxicillin (Amoxil) in lieu of treating the strep throat infections. These antibiotics are known to have minimum side effects, are safe and also quite inexpensive. They take about 3-5 days to help one get rid of the strep bacteria completely.
Apart from the medications patients are advised ample rest and to drink warm fluids that can help in soothing symptoms like the soreness of the throat. These are an essential part of the treatment and must be adhered to.
Related: Is Strep Throat Contagious?