Strep throat is an infection of the tonsils and pharynx (back of the mouth and throat) caused by group A beta-hemolytic streptococci bacteria that can cause fever, headache, chills, and sore throat.
The bacteria that cause streptococcal infections are highly contagious and spread through the exchange of saliva through kissing, sharing glasses or eating utensils, talking, or even coughing or sneezing on others. To avoid getting strep throat contagious disease (and other infections), it’s important to practice good hygiene to prevent bacterial transmission and spread.
When To See A Doctor For Strep Throat?
If your throat has been sore for more than two weeks, you should see a doctor. In the meantime, you can use over-the-counter medications like ibuprofen or acetaminophen to manage the pain and discomfort. If your throat is still sore after a week, it’s likely that you have strep throat or some other form of pharyngitis.
The doctor will look at samples from the back of your throat and order tests to see if you have an infection. The doctor may also ask about your symptoms, medical history and any exposure to people with similar symptoms in recent weeks. Your doctor may prescribe antibiotics if they suspect strep throat or another bacterial infection is causing the soreness in your throat.
Your doctor will properly examine your kid, ask about various signs & symptoms, and even go for the strep test.
There’re 2 types of tests generally used to diagnose the strep throat. Both of them use similar soft swab. Your doctor will brush one or two swabs over your throat back. And your child might gag a little.
Rapid strep test (antigen test) –This takes over 30 min to get results of the rapid strep test and you may stay till you get your final results.
Throat culture – At times just this test has to be done. Swab will be sent to lab for further testing. This takes one to two days to get results. Lab may notify your doctor, who then will inform you about the results.
Causes & Risk Factors for Strep Throat
Anyone may get strep throat, however you are likely to get sick only if: (3)
You’re under 5 to 15 years age
It is winter and early spring, when many people generally tend to crowd in the enclosed environments, and spreading bacteria and virus.
As strep throat is a contagious disease, you are likely to catch this if you are in the close contact with anyone who is already infected with the disease.