Strep throat is a medical condition that develops because of a bacterial infection in the throat. The throat will feel sore and scratchy and look red and inflamed. If left untreated, it can lead to more serious problems such as Scarlet or Rheumatic Fever. Strep throat can occur in patients of all ages; however, according to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, most cases occur in individuals age 5 through 15.
Causes of Strep Throat
Strep throat is caused by the bacteria streptococcal, or strep for short. There are different forms of the bacteria that range from mild to more severe. It is important to note that sore throats do not always mean strep throat; the best way to determine the difference is to notice that with strep only the throat and tonsils are affected and inflamed. For individuals with a sore throat, symptoms such as a runny or stuffy nose, sneezing and coughing are also present.
Diagnosing Strep Throat
To diagnose strep throat, a doctor at Pediatrics on Demand performs a physical examination including checking one’s temperature, feeling the lymph nodes, examining the throat, and performing a strep swab. The strep swab is the final indicator of Strep Throat and will come up in the lab reading as positive when the patient is infected with the bacteria.
Treating Strep Throat
If you suspect you or your child may have strep throat, it is time to schedule an appointment with Pediatrics on Demand. Strep throat is best treated with antibiotics and the sooner they are taken, the sooner one can feel better (and not be contagious). The patient is no longer contagious 24 hours after the first antibiotic does.
Do not leaving strep throat untreated. To schedule an appointment to be examined today, call our Oak Lawn office (708) 424-0900.