What is Strep Throat?
Strep throat, is an infection of the mucous membranes lining the pharynx. Strep throat is caused by bacteria. Sometimes the tonsils are also infected (tonsillitis).
Strep throat accounts for between five and ten percent of all sore throats. Although anyone can get strep throat, it is most common in school age children. People who smoke, who are fatigued, run down, or who live in damp, crowded conditions are also more likely to become infected with strep throat. Children under age two and adults who are not around children are less likely to get strep throat.
Strep throat occurs most frequently from November to April.
Strep throat is also called Streptococcal sore throat.
How is Strep Throat Transmitted?
Strep Throat is transmitted directly from person to person by coughing, sneezing, and close contact. Very occasionally strep throat is passed through food, when a food handler infected with strep throat accidentally contaminates food by coughing or sneezing.
What causes Strep Throat?
Strep throat is caused by group A Streptococcus bacteria.
What are the Symptoms of Strep Throat?
Some of the symptoms of strep throat are:
Infants with strep throat often have a thick colorful nose drainage and possibly a low-grade fever, with a decrease in appetite.
Young children may complain of abdominal pain. The tonsils look swollen and are bright red, with white or yellow patches of pus on them. Sometimes the roof of the mouth is red or has small red spots.
Preventing Strep Throat
There is really no way to prevent getting strep throat. Some of the common ways to help prevent getting strep throat are: covering her mouth when she sneezes to keep from spreading the bacteria; wash their hands after sneezing, blowing their noses, and before cooking or eating; wash dishes, drinking glasses, and knives, forks, and spoons in hot, soapy water; and keep sores and cuts clean.
If left untreated, strep throat can cause rheumatic fever.
Can Strep Throat be Treated?
Yes. Strep throat is treated with antibiotics. Penicillin is usually prescribed.
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