What is Strep Throat?
Strep is a bacterial infection that causes a sore, scratchy throat. This bacteria thrives when people are in close contact and the CDC estimates that there are several million cases of non-invasive group A strep illnesses each year. Though strep throat can occur any time of year, it tends to circulate in the winter and spring. Typically, it also occurs in ages children 5 – 15. Our strep throat 101 guide will aid you with the tools you need to ease symptoms and prevent this illness.
The main symptoms of strep throat are as follows:
- Throat pain that comes on quickly
- Pain when swallowing
- Red and swollen tonsils
- White patches on tonsils
- Swollen lymph nodes on your neck
- Nausea or vomiting
- Body aches
An antibiotic is the best way to treat strep throat. However, there are many ways to manage and ease your symptoms. Your doctor might prescribe you an over-the-counter pain medication to ease a sore throat and reduce your fever. They might also ask that you gargle salt water a few times a day or adjust your diet by avoiding citrus and spicy foods that might irritate your throat. Stay hydrated as this will make it easier to swallow and rest to regain your strength. Sleep will also support overall immune system health.
Strep throat is generally transmitted by direct contact with mucus or sores of someone with strep and spreads fairly easily. You can be exposed to strep via saliva or airborne respiratory droplets from coughs or sneezes. As always, it’s important to wash your hands as this is the best way to prevent the spread of many common infections. Wash for about 20 seconds. Take special care to later up and scrub your whole hand.
When you aren’t within reach of a proper sink, use a hand sanitizer that is made up of 60 percent alcohol or more. Clean your home and wash all of your dishes in hot soapy water. Teach your children and family members to cover their mouths and nose during coughs and sneezes using a tissue or the crook of their elbows. Similarly, don’t share food, drinks, utensils, towels, and pillowcases or blankets with those who have strep-throat!
Strep Throat 101
In the event that you exhibit any of the symptoms of strep throat, make an appointment with your doctor right away! Your doctor will diagnose you with a simple throat culture and prescribe antibiotics if needed. Once you’ve taken these antibiotics, you’ll begin to feel better soon after — within 24 to 48 hours! Most importantly, make sure you finish all of your medication in order to prevent any serious side effects of strep.
If you’re seeking medical attention for a condition that resembles strep throat – or any condition for that matter – contact Abba Medical transportation for assistance. And be on the lookout for more guides like out strep throat 101 guide!