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
Is Strep Throat Dangerous
Strep throat is a highly treatable infection, butlike any sicknessit can cause health problems.
Since strep throat is a bacterial infection, you will need antibioitics to successfully rid your body of the bacteria. If you have experienced any of the above symptoms, you likely have strep throat. Our AFC center offers affordable, rapid strep throat testing, so visit us today to get an accurate diagnosis!
What Are The Treatments Of Pharyngitis
Strep throat is usually treated with antibiotics, such as penicillin. Antibiotics are prescribed by a doctor and then taken for the full course of treatment, even once symptoms are no longer present. Antibiotics usually come with side effects, such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, indigestion, and more. However, antibiotics are effective in preventing serious complications and longer periods of contagiousness.
Symptoms of strep throat may also be remedied at home. The most common home remedy for a sore throat is to create a mixture of salt and warm water and to gargle it. This can soothe a sore throat, reduce redness and swelling and kill bacteria present in your mouth. Another remedy involves swishing coconut oil in your mouth for at least 10 minutes before spitting, rinsing, and then brushing your teeth. This has been shown to reduce the presence of strep bacteria and toxins in your mouth. While these home remedies may treat some symptoms of strep throat, antibiotics are the only cure and the only way to prevent further contagion.
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Key Points About Strep Throat
Note: This page is about strep throat. Read about sore throats in general and sore throats in children.
For people at higher risk of rheumatic fever, it is very important that a sore throat is always checked early by a nurse or GP. This is because untreated strep throat can cause rheumatic fever and heart damage for life.
You are at higher risk of rheumatic fever if:
Or if you have 2 or more of the following:
What Are The Possible Complications Of Strep Throat
Possible complications of untreated or partially treated strep throatinfection are:
- Otitis media
- Toxic shock syndrome and/or
- Abscess formation around the tonsils and behind the throat
Formation of an abscess behind the throat due to untreated or under-treated strep throat infection can lead to severe illness causing pain in throat and neck, difficulty swallowing, and potential respiratory compromise. These abscesses may need to be drained by an ear-nose-throat specialist urgently, and hospitalization may be required.
There is also a condition called Pediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Disorder associated with group A Streptococcus infection . This is a somewhat controversial condition linking group A strep infection in children with possible development and/or exacerbation of obsessive compulsive disorders or tic disorders in children.
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How Is Strep Throat Treated In Children
If your childs test comes back positive for strep, antibiotic treatment is required. The medication helps prevent rarebut seriouscomplications, including rheumatic fever.
However, for children under the age of 2 or 3, rates of rheumatic fever are much lower than for older children, Dr. Flaherty-Hewitt notes. We consider the diagnosis of strep pharyngitis less often in this age group because the risk of rheumatic fever is much less.
Penicillin or amoxicillin are typically the first antibiotics a doctor will try, usually for a course of ten days. Other antibiotics may be used, as needed.
Within 48 hours of starting their antibiotic, children are feeling much better, but parents need to remember to complete the full course of antibiotics even when their children start to improve, says Dr. Flaherty-Hewitt.
For comfort, she recommends plenty to drink, ice pops, pudding, applesauce, and other soft foods. Many parents worry about their kids if they have strep and arent eating, but thats OK, she says. We are more concerned about liquids and that they are properly hydrated.
How Bad Is It To Leave Strep Throat Untreated
Its definitely not good or safe to do so. Since strep throat is a bacterial infection, the bacteria can spread throughout the body and cause the below-mentioned complications if it isnt treated in a timely manner.
If you experience strep throat symptoms, its important to get a strep throat test ASAP to confirm your diagnosis. Our AFC center offers molecular, rapid strep tests that provide accurate results in 15 minutes or less.
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Is Strep Throat Contagious
Yes. Strep throat is medically known as streptococcal pharyngitis, and is highly contagious.
It is spread by sharing food or utensils with a person who is sick with strep throat.
It may also be passed along from droplets that come from coughing, sneezing, or saliva.
Surface contamination is possible, too, if you touch your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
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The purpose of the Southern Cross Medical Library is to provide information of a general nature to help you better understand certain medical conditions. Always seek specific medical advice for treatment appropriate to you. This information is not intended to relate specifically to insurance or healthcare services provided by Southern Cross. For more articles go to the Medical Library index page.
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Seek Medical Attention Always
Strep throat left untreated can result in life-threatening conditions. You should always seek out medical attention if you believe you have strep throat. A few days of taking antibiotics is far better than the alternative: suffering for weeks on end or your condition becoming life-threatening.
If you live in the Baton Rouge area of Louisiana, Coastal Urgent Care has a wide range of medical services to help you. Urgent Care is open seven days a week from 9 am to 8 pm.
Contact us today to make your appointment.
What Will Happen If Strep Throat Is Left Untreated
Since strep throat is a bacterial infection, rather than a viral infection, it wont go away all by itself. You will have to have antibiotics to successfully treat strep throat, and if you leave it untreated, you might find yourself dealing with recurring strep throat symptomsif not more serious complicationsfor months on end.
If you are concerned that you may have strep throat, visit our AFC center to get a rapid strep test! These tests provide accurate results within 15 minutes or less, and you dont even need an appointment.
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How Long Is Strep Throat Contagious
If you become infected with strep, you may not become sick for 2-5 days.
This is called the incubation period.
During this time, you can be contagious with strep throat even before you show symptoms.
You are considered contagious with strep throat until you have been without a fever for at least 24 hours and are starting to feel better, or until you have been taking antibiotics for a full day.
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.
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The Dangers Of Strep Throat Going Undiagnosed And Untreated
Kids are back in school and that means they are at risk of strep throat, which can be dangerous if gone untreated. It’s also easily spread.
If you’re exposed to strep throat it can take two to five days before you start having symptoms, and if you start taking antibiotics you’re still contagious for 24-hours after you’ve started treatment.
Melissa Macavage’s daughter Paige became ill last winter and doctors initially believed she had the flu. However, it turned out it was strep throat that went undiagnosed and untreated.
Because Paige’s symptoms of strep went untreated, it turned into strep arthritis or Poststreptococcal Arthritis, which causes inflammation of one or more joints.
Action News’ Chief Health Editor Dr. Partha Nandi says it can become deadly. When strep throat went undiagnosed in him, he ended up with rheumatic fever and his heart valves were nearly destroyed.
“I almost died when I was 6 years of age because of strep throat,” Nandi said.
Typically, young people ages 5 to 15 are most at risk but adults are to, especially if you have a weak immune system.
“You get it because somebody coughs,” Nandi said. “It spread through the air, airborne droplets, you can also get it by touching door knobs.”
Fortunately for Paige, everything is fine nearly a year later.
Can Strep Throat Last For Months
Most sore throats are the result of viral infections, often related to the common cold or flu. Bacterial infections can also lead to sore throats. Some of the more common ones include strep throat, tonsillitis, whooping cough and diphtheria. A sore throat is considered chronic when it lasts for more than three months.
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What Are The Symptoms Of The Condition
Some common symptoms of strep throat include:
- Sore, red throat
If you have any of these symptoms, it is recommended that you be tested for strep throat. At-home, rapid strep tests are available, but are not 100% accurate. A throat culture test takes a few days to yield results, but is more accurate than a rapid strep test. Accurate testing is important so that you can take the necessary steps after receiving a diagnosis.
If you are having cold symptoms such as cough, runny nose, hoarse voice or conjunctivitis, you are most likely suffering from a virus, and not strep throat.
Strep Throat Left Untreated: 5 Dangers To Know About
In the United States, there are between 11,000 to 13,000 cases of strep throat each year.
Strep throat is an infection that is caused by the Streptococcus bacteria. It is infectious and spread through respiratory droplets. That means you can catch strep throat by breathing it in, touching something with droplets on it and then touching your face, or if you eat or drink after an infected person.
You should never have strep throat left untreated. Strep throat requires antibiotics to go away and left untreated, can worsen into other problems.
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If Left Untreated With Strep Throat What Will Happen
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The Dangers Of Strep Throat
Strep Throat is a very common infection that might not sound too terrible but if untreated it could cause loss of limbs or even death. Here are the signs of strep throat.
In late fall and early spring, youre probably not too concerned about catching colds and dealing with sore throats. Youre busy enjoying the changing seasons, and you should be. If you do happen to get a sore throat that lasts several days, you should see a doctor immediately. Streptococcal bacteria, the culprits that cause strep throat, thrive during these seasons, and the infection is easy to catch.
An Extreme Case of Strep Throat
While children may have a higher risk of getting strep throat, adults can catch it too. One man from Michigan found out just how seriously the infection can be if left untreated.
At first, Kevin went to see a doctor for pain that he was feeling in his stomach. One day later, he returned to the hospital with no improvement from medication, and doctors began to dig. Upon performing an exploratory surgery, they found his stomach filled with infection and eventually pinned strep throat as the cause.
During this process, Kevins organs began failing. Doctors had to stimulate more blood flow to his organs to keep him alive. Unfortunately, they werent able to save his hands and feet, requiring amputations on all four of Kevins limbs.
Strep Throat Complications
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What To Know About Strep Throat
Strep throat symptoms.
Strep throat, a bacterial infection in the throat and tonsils, causes a sore or scratchy throat, as well as white patches on your tonsils.
It is highly contagious during the incubation period the two to five days after youre infected and before symptoms appear and stays contagious until your symptoms resolve, according to Jake Mefford, PA, clinical director for OSF OnCall Urgent Care clinics.
Hand hygiene and disinfecting commonly used surfaces frequently can decrease the risk of transmission of strep, Jake said.
Jake took time to answer more questions about strep:
What Causes Strep Throat
Strep throat is caused by bacteria called Streptococcus pyogenes, or group A Streptococcus . The most common ways to get strep throat are by breathing in respiratory droplets of strep bacteria or by touching your eyes, nose or mouth after being exposed to these bacteria.
Strep throat is fairly common during the winter, and if you arent sure whether you might be dealing with it, weve listed some of its common symptoms below.
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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.
According To Dr Cooper There Are Two Reasons Someone May Get Frequent Strep Throat:
- Sheer exposure. This happens a lot when there are outbreaks of Strep in school and is most common in winter and spring months. Also, families with several children tend to pass it around to each other.
- Immune system deficiency. When a child or adult has an immune system that is not working the way it should, he or she will be vulnerable to Strep as well as to other infectious diseases.
To reduce your risks of getting strep throat, Dr. Cooper recommends frequent and thorough hand washing and minimizing contact with infected people. Additionally, he recommends things that can boost your immune system: getting enough sleep, eating a nutritious and balanced diet, getting regular exercise and avoiding excessive or prolonged stress, for example.
Despite these measures, a person who comes in contact with Strep may still get infected. This is because it is a highly contagious bacterial infection, said Dr. Cooper.
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Reasons Why Untreated Strep Throat Is Dangerous
Strep throat is dangerous throat infection caused by streptococcal bacteria and must be treated with a full course of antibiotics for strep throat diligently to avoid major health complications mentioned below. A high dose of probiotic treatment following the antibiotic course is highly recommended by some health professionals to restore good bacteria balance in the intestinal tract.
Here are the top reasons why untreated strep throat is so dangerous:
1. Tonsillitis is a case of inflamed tonsils when small pockets of pus, also called white spots on tonsils, cover the surface of tonsils and can even lead to a chronic case of tonsillitis. In the case of persistent strep throats or chronic tonsillitis, a tonsillectomy could be advised to a patient. Be advised that adult tonsillectomy recovery is far more complicated and takes more time than childrens.
2. Rheumatic fever is a rare inflammatory condition that usually develops in about 4-6 weeks following a case of untreated strep throat or strep throat that was not properly treated. Rheumatic fever can cause permanent damage to the heart valves and also manifest itself in joint pains and affect central nervous system.
3. Acute sinusitis can follow a case of untreated strep throat when the inflammation settles in one of the four pairs of sinus cavities and causes a lot of pressure, severe sinus headaches and greenish-yellow discharge.