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Commonly diagnosed among children, Strep Throat is a throat infection that can be quickly remedied with antibiotic treatments. Not all sore throats are due to A Streptococcus bacteria, but knowing the difference can quickly alleviate discomfort and prevent the onset of further illness.
Sore throats are common and can be caused by a variety of environmental factors including viruses, bacteria, allergens, smoke, and fungus. Many sore throats will get better with time, but cases of Strep throat are often treated with antibiotics to facilitate healing.
Strep throat is caused by Group A Streptococcus bacteria and causes an infection in the throat and tonsils. The bacteria is spread through droplets released by sneezes and coughs of an infected person. Coming into contact with these droplets causes the illness to spread. Symptoms include:
- Sore throat, severe pain while swallowing
- Fevers of 101F and above
- Swelling and redness of the tonsils
- Tiny red spots occurring on the back of the roof of the mouth
- Nausea or vomiting
- Swollen lymph nodes
- Body aches and headache
If Strep throat is suspected, healthcare professionals can test for the bacteria and advise the use of antibiotics if applicable. The test is typically performed through the use of a throat culture swab. A positive test may indicate the need for antibiotics which can reduce symptoms, facilitate healing, prevent complications, and impede the spread of infection to others.