How To Protect Others
- Keep your child away from others for 12 hours after you start giving the antibiotics.
- Good hand washing is VERY important! Clean your hands and your childs hands often with soap and water. Wash for 15 to 20 seconds, or the time it takes to sing the Happy Birthday song. If soap and water are not available, an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol may be used. Rub hands until dry Have your child cover their mouth when coughing or sneezing. Throw the tissues away right away.
- Do not share drinking cups or eating utensils.
- If anyone in the family gets a sore throat, they should be checked by their doctor or health care provider to see if they have strep.
- Tell your childs school nurse and teacher if they have strep throat. The school needs to know so they can tell other parents to watch for symptoms in their children.
- Your child should stay home from school or childcare until they have taken antibiotic medicine for 12 hours and have no fever.
Management Of Recurrent Gabhs Pharyngitis
RADT is effective for diagnosing recurrent GABHS infection. In patients treated within the preceding 28 days, RADT has similar specificity and higher sensitivity than in patients without previous streptococcal infection .38 Recurrence of GABHS pharyngitis within one month may be treated using the antibiotics listed in Table 3.2,1720,2834 Intramuscular penicillin G injection is an option when oral antibiotics were initially prescribed.
Other Sore Throats Don’t Need Special Medicine So Why Does Strep Throat
Most sore throats are caused by viruses, which cannot be cured with medicine you can only relieve the aches and pains. Viruses heal on their own and cannot be cured with antibiotics or other medicines.
Strep throat is caused by a bacterium. Infections caused by bacteria can be treated with antibiotics. Strep throat can lead to more serious illnesses, so it’s important to get it treated.
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A Pharmacist Can Help With Sore Throats
You can ask a pharmacist about ways of relieving the pain and discomfort of a sore throat, such as:
- medicated lozenges containing a local anaesthetic, antiseptic, or anti-inflammatory medicine
- anaesthetic spray
You can buy these treatments from a supermarket or from a pharmacist without a prescription.
Home Remedies For Strep Throat
There are a lot of things you can do for yourself at home to feel better when you have strep throat. Rest a lot so your body can fight the infection. Stay home from work or school to avoid infecting others. Ask your doctor how long you or your child are contagious. Drink lots of fluids to stay well hydrated. This helps your throat stay moist and makes it easier to swallow. If your throat hurts, reach for popsicles or ice to numb the area and soothe pain.
As for your diet, eat foods that are easy to swallow like soup, mashed potatoes, bananas, yogurt, and eggs. Applesauce and oatmeal are good choices, too. Puree cooked veggies in your blender to make them easier to eat. Avoid foods and drinks that may sting your throat including spicy foods and acidic things like orange juice.
Another great strep throat remedy is to gargle with salt water. You can do this several times a day to decrease pain. Just make sure to spit it out. Too much salt isn’t good for you. Dissolve Â¼ teaspoon of salt in 8 ounces of water.
Use a humidifier to keep your throat moist. A cool-mist version is best. Clean and disinfect it daily to reduce the risk of mold growth. Saline nasal spray may help soothe symptoms, too.
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What Are Possible Complications Of Strep Throat
Although rare, complications of strep throat may include:
- Inflammation of the kidneys
- Rheumatic fever
- Abscesses near the tonsils
Recurrent strep throat can sometimes mean children need to have their tonsils removed . Yale Medicine Pediatric Otolaryngology surgeons offer several advanced treatment options for this.
How Do I Know If My Child Has Strep Throat
Visit your healthcare provider if the symptoms suggest strep throat. Your child will be examined and may be given a strep test . Viral illnesses can have the same symptoms as strep throat. This is why it’s important that a throat swab be done to confirm the presence of the Strep bacteria in the throat.
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What Causes Strep Throat Why Is It Contagious
One of the more discerning elements of strep throat is that it is highly contagious. It can be passed from person-to-person in a variety of ways, such as:
- Breathing in the air of an infected individual
As you can see, it doesnât take much to pass on strep throat. As long as you are showing symptoms, you are capable of spreading the infection. Weâve identified streptococcus as the bacteria that causes strep throat, but it is possible to have the streptococcus bacteria on your skin without actually getting the disease. This strand of streptococcus is characterized as Group A.
One of the reasons why strep throat is so contagious among school-aged children is because many schools are held in enclosed environments. Since students are in close proximity of each other, it becomes much easier to spread viruses. For adults, similar enclosed venues include gyms and workplaces.
What Are The Symptoms For Strep Throat
Here are the most common symptoms. You may have all or most of the symptoms or just a few:
The strep throat clue I always look for is a sore throat with a fever above 100.4 F but with little to no coughing. At the same time, sore throats caused by viruses or other bacteria can mimic these symptoms, so its important to follow up with your provider if you have concerns.
Here is the infographic comparing symptoms of strep throat or a viral sore throat in an alternative format.
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How Is Strep Throat Treated
If your doctor suspects you have strep throat, they may prescribe an antibiotic before you have all the results from the lab tests. It is very important to take all of the prescribed medicine, even after the symptoms have gone away, to prevent the infection from coming back.
The symptoms of strep throat may go away as soon as 24 hours after you start treatment. The symptoms rarely last longer than 5 days.
You can be contagious for 2 to 3 weeks if youre not treated. But if you take antibiotics, you will stop being contagious after about 24 hours.
Pain And Fever Without A Cough Are Common Signs And Symptoms
In general, strep throat is a mild infection, but it can be very painful. The most common symptoms of strep throat include:
- Sore throat that can start very quickly
- Pain when swallowing
- Red and swollen tonsils, sometimes with white patches or streaks of pus
- Tiny, red spots on the roof of the mouth
- Swollen lymph nodes in the front of the neck
Other symptoms may include a headache, stomach pain, nausea, or vomiting especially in children. Someone with strep throat may also have a rash when this happens it is known as scarlet fever .
The following symptoms suggest a virus is the cause of the illness instead of strep throat:
A sore throat that starts quickly, pain with swallowing, and fever are some of the common signs and symptoms of strep throat.
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Antibiotics Get You Well Fast
Doctors treat strep throat with antibiotics. Either penicillin or amoxicillin are recommended as a first choice for people who are not allergic to penicillin. Doctors can use other antibiotics to treat strep throat in people who are allergic to penicillin.
Benefits of antibiotics include:
- Preventing the bacteria from spreading to others
- Preventing serious complications like rheumatic fever
Someone who tests positive for strep throat but has no symptoms usually does not need antibiotics. They are less likely to spread the bacteria to others and very unlikely to get complications. If a carrier gets a sore throat illness caused by a virus, the rapid strep test can be positive. In these cases, it can be hard to know what is causing the sore throat. If someone keeps getting a sore throat after taking the right antibiotics, they may be a strep carrier and have a viral throat infection. Talk to a doctor if you think you or your child may be a strep carrier.
How Do You Get Strep Throat
When someone with strep throat coughs or sneezes, it spreads respiratory droplets containing the bacteria. If droplets get on your hands and then you touch your mouth, nose or eyes, you can end up with strep throat.
If you or someone in your family has strep throat, wash your hands frequently, and dont share glasses, plates or eating utensils. Be sure to cover your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing.
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Protect Yourself And Others
People can get strep throat more than once. Having strep throat does not protect someone from getting it again in the future. While there is no vaccine to prevent strep throat, there are things people can do to protect themselves and others.
Good hygiene helps prevent group A strep infections
The best way to keep from getting or spreading group A strep is to wash your hands often. This is especially important after coughing or sneezing and before preparing foods or eating.
To prevent group A strep infections, you should:
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze.
- Put your used tissue in the waste basket.
- Cough or sneeze into your upper sleeve or elbow, not your hands, if you dont have a tissue.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
- Use an alcohol-based hand rub if soap and water are not available.
You should also wash glasses, utensils, and plates after someone who is sick uses them. These items are safe for others to use once washed.
Wash your hands often to help prevent germs from spreading.
Antibiotics help prevent spreading the infection to others
People with strep throat should stay home from work, school, or daycare until they:
- No longer have a fever
- Have taken antibiotics for at least 12 hours
How Does Strep Throat Spread
Highly contagious, strep throat is spread through airborne droplets . Children can also get infected by touching surfaces that carry the bacteria and then touching their nose, mouth or eyes.
I often tell parents not to share anything in the house that goes in the mouth, says Dr. Flaherty-Hewitt, who is medical director of Yale New Haven Hospitals Pediatric Primary Care Center. Once they have been on antibiotics for 24 to 48 hours, they shouldnt be contagious. We also advise throwing out their toothbrush and washing their pillowcases or other such items after they have been on the antibiotics 24 to 48 hours.
As for prevention, practicing proper hand hygiene is key. Wash your hands and cover your mouth with your elbow when you cough or sneeze, Dr. Flaherty-Hewitt advises.
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What Causes Strep Throat
The tell-tale symptoms of strep throata painful sore throat, swollen glands, and feverare caused by an infection by Streptococcus pyogenes, also known as group A strep or as group A Streptococcus.
You can become infected by this bacteria by having close contact with someone else who is infected. Infection can also happen if you touch a surface with respiratory droplets on it from an infected person and then touch your nose or mouth. Sharing food or utensils with an infected person can also cause you to become infected.
Is Strep Throat Contagious
Some parents are unsure if strep throat is contagious because its caused by a bacterial infection, rather than a virus. Unfortunately, strep throat most definitely is contagious and often spreads easily in congregate settings such as daycares and schools. It can also spread easily within a family unit.
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How Strep Throat Is Diagnosed
Strep throat cant be diagnosed by symptoms alone, since many symptoms resemble symptoms of other infections, like cold viruses. If you bring your child to their pediatrician with symptoms of strep throat, they will do a test to find out whether your child has strep throat.
Usually, your healthcare provider will do a rapid antigen test to determine if your child has strep throat. This involves taking a sample from the back of your childs throat using a swab. Sometimes this test can be uncomfortable for children and make them gag, but its over quickly. Results from a rapid test are usually available within 30 minutes.
Can Strep Throat Be Prevented
The following suggestions may help you prevent the spread of your strep infection to others:
- Avoid close contact with other people until you have been taking the antibiotic for at least 24 hours and you feel well.
- Use tissues when you cough and dispose of them carefully.
- Hand washing is the best method of prevention. Wash your hands before you touch food, dishes, glasses, silverware, napkins, etc.
- Wash your hands after you cough and before you touch certain things, like food, dishes, glasses, silverware or napkins.
- Use paper cups, or separate cups, and paper towels in bathrooms instead of shared drinking cups and hand towels.
- Do not share food and eating utensils with others.
- Do not prepare food for others if you have strep throat.
People with strep throat should not go to childcare, preschool, school or work until they are no longer contagious.
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Home Remedies For Strep Throat Symptoms
In addition to antibiotics, at-home treatments can help relieve the symptoms of strep throat. These remedies include:
- getting plenty of rest
But the authors of the review caution that theyre much less effective than antibiotics. In addition, the antimicrobial activity in each is limited and short-lived, which means the type of formulation is important.
A 2017 study also found antibacterial features in a specific blend of cinnamon, wild carrot, eucalyptus, and rosemary essential oils.
Ingesting essential oils isnt recommended. They can be inhaled or diluted with oil and added to a bath. Some remedies, like ginger root or lemon juice, may be added to tea. Explore more about using these essential oils to treat a sore throat.
Foods often used to ease symptoms of a sore throat, but whose effectiveness specifically to treat strep throat is uncertain, include:
In order to prevent complications, its recommended that you talk with your doctor if you have symptoms of strep throat.
What Stands Out About Yale Medicines Approach To Strep Throat
As an academic medical center, Yale Medicine offers access to highly trained and experienced pediatric specialists, including surgeons specializing in treating children with ear, nose and throat problems. These specialists are at the top of their respective fields in advanced treatment methods and clinical research.
Also, Yale Medicine is one of the few places where surgeons can offer partial tonsillectomy, which can mean a quicker and less painful recovery for children who are appropriate candidates.
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Diagnosis Of Group A Streptococcal Infection
For cases of pharyngitis and scarlet fever, the routine method of diagnosis is identification of the organism from a throat swab. Blood tests may also be ordered. Impetigo is diagnosed by taking a swab of the blisters or crust of sores and checking for the presence of bacteria.Toxic shock syndrome is diagnosed by examining symptoms and in some cases, by taking blood tests.
What Are The Risk Factors For Strep Throat
Although adults get strep throat, too, it is most common in children from the preschool age up through middle school, into the teenage years, says Dr. Flaherty-Hewitt.
Sometimes, children are carriers of the bacteria. They may not be sick, because the bacteria grows slowly, but they can infect others in the family. For possible carriers, we dont want to keep randomly swabbing them and putting them on antibiotics, explains Dr. Flaherty-Hewitt. If we suspect a child is a carrier, we have them come in for a test when they are completely well. If they are a carrier, we can potentially treat them for good with a combination of different antibiotics. Because we know that some children may be carriers, we try to use some guidelines in testing children appropriately, and not get a rapid strep or lab culture for every sore throat that we see.
Season is another risk factor for strep throat. Though it can strike at any time of year, strep is far more common in late fall and early spring, and among groups of people in close proximity, such as school settings. It definitely comes in waves, Dr. Flaherty-Hewitt says.
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How You Get Strep Throat
Group A strep live in the nose and throat and can easily spread to other people. People who are infected spread the bacteria by talking, coughing, or sneezing, which creates small respiratory droplets that contain the bacteria. They can also spread the bacteria from infected sores on their skin.
It usually takes two to five days for someone exposed to group A strep to become ill with strep throat.
It is important to know that some infected people do not have symptoms or seem sick. People sick with strep throat are much more contagious than those who do not have symptoms.
People can get sick if they:
- Breathe in respiratory droplets that contain the bacteria
- Touch something with those droplets on it and then touch their mouth or nose
- Drink from the same glass or eat from the same plate as a person infected with group A strep
- Touch sores on the skin caused by group A strep or come into contact with fluid from the sores
Rarely, people can spread group A strep through food that is not handled properly .