Strep Throat: Diagnosis & Treatment
Pediatrician In Mission, TX
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 it goes 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 to 15.
Causes of Strep Throat
Strep throat is caused by the bacteria streptococcal, or strep for short. There are different forms of the bacteria, some that are mild and others that are more severe. A sore throat is not the same as strep, as they are caused by viral infections as opposed to strep bacteria itself. The best way to determine the difference is to notice that with strep only the throat and tonsils are affected. For individuals with a sore throat, symptoms such as a runny or stuffy nose, sneezing and coughing often also exist.
Diagnosing Strep Throat
Ultimately the strep bacteria are contagious and can be passed to others through contact. This makes it extremely important for strep to be treated immediately. To diagnose strep throat, a doctor at Pediatrics on Demand performs a physical examination including checking one’s temperature, feeling the lymph nodes and looking at the throat. They also perform a rapid strep test, which tests for the strep 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). After antibiotics are taken, in just 24 hours, the patient is no longer contagious.