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Diseases & Conditions

Strep Throat

Strep ThroatCausesDiagnosisMedicationsPreventionRisk FactorsSymptomsTreatmentRemedies

What is Strep Throat?

Strep throat is a contagious disease that is caused by an infection with streptococcal bacteria that affect the pharynx and larynx. Some of the common symptoms are sore throat, fever, swelling and redness of tonsils and throat, and enlarged lymph nodes.

Causes of Strep Throat

Sore throat has plenty of causes. One of them being throat infections. It includes tonsils infection, pharynx infection and esophagus infection. Teens tend to get suffer from this condition at the time of school year when so many people study together.

The bacteria that are responsible for this condition tend to make it presence felt in the nose and throat. Therefore, there is not much of a surprise that sneezing, coughing, or shaking hands can lead to strep infection spread from one individual to another. Make sure that you wash your hands on a regular basis. Strep throat may lead to heart issues if not treated in a proper manner.

Diagnosis of Strep Throat

When your health care provider is conducting a physical examination, a throat culture might be taken. Rapid strep test can also be quite effective. The best part about this test is that you can get results in a matter of few minutes. Do not take any antibiotic prior to taking the assistance of your health care provider as even a single antibiotic dose can have an impact on the culture results and your health care provider may face issues when it comes to selecting a right kind of treatment plan. At this moment of time, there is no vaccine available for strep throat.

Medications for Strep Throat

After a person has been diagnosed with strep throat by lab testing, the doctor may want to prescribe antibiotics which are effective in preventing various strep throat complications.

A patient suffering from strep throat should take the entire course of antibiotics and not stop mid way even if he/she feels better as premature discontinuation can cause the condition to relapse or a new strain of antibiotic resistant organism may develop.

Penicillin is an inexpensive and effective medication which can be taken for 10 days orally or as a 1 time injection.

Derivatives such as amoxyllin are also effective against strep throat.

Cephalosporin is suggested for those who are penicillin intolerant. Macrolides such as erythromycin, azithromycin (Zithromax, Zithromax TR, Azithromycin, Zmax, Z-Pak) and clarithromycin can also be recommended by the health care provider.

Prevention of Strep Throat

With regard to preventing strep throat infection, it is your responsibility to ensure that it does not spread to your friends, family members and colleagues. In order to minimize the strep throat spread, you need to cover your nose and mouth at the time of sneezing or coughing. Wash your hands on a regular basis. If you are suffering from this condition, do not share your food or drink with another person.

Risk factors of Strep Throat

Some of the risk factors associated with strep throat are mentioned below:

  • Rheumatic fever
  • Lung infection
  • Lining of brain can also get affected
  • Toxic shock syndrome
  • Middle ear infection
  • You are going to face difficulty in swallowing if there is abscess formation behind the throat
  • You get more susceptible to Pediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Disorder.

Symptoms of Strep Throat

Some of the common symptoms associated with strep throat are mentioned below:

Treatment for Strep Throat

When you are suffering from strep throat, your health care provider is going to start your treatment with antibiotics. Make sure that you take the complete course and do not stop taking antibiotics until all the symptoms fade away. Talking about antibiotics, penicillin is the best option. Not only it is reliable but also very economical. Cephalosporin antibiotics are also being prescribed by the health care providers. It includes celcor, suprax, vantin and omnicef.

Remedies for Strep Throat

There are lots of home remedies available, which can give you temporary relief from the symptoms of strep throat. Even when you are banking on these home remedies, make sure that you do not stop taking antibiotics. Saltwater gargle can give you relief from the strep throat symptoms. Normally, ½ teaspoon of salt is added to a cup of warm water. For each gargle, part of the solution is used. Gargling can be repeated two to three times in a day. Do not implement this therapy on children. Hard candies can also turn out to be quite effective when it comes to treating strep throat symptoms. Sucking on a hard candy will give you relief in a short span of time.