While many people associate strep throat with the winter season, it is a virus that can be caught any time of year. What is strep throat? It is a bacterial infection in the throat and tonsils caused by A Streptococcus and often requires medical attention. It is contagious and usually transferred between people by talking, coughing, or sneezing and has a two to five day incubation period. Symptoms and severity of strep throat vary between people, but should be treated by people who feel sick.
Strep throat symptoms
There are common symptoms beyond a sore throat that can identify if it is a case of strep throat:
- Swollen tonsils of lymph nodes
- Red spots on the roof of the mouth
- Nausea, stomach pain, vomiting
- Pain when swallowing
In order to determine if you have strep throat, a doctor will need to examine your throat and do a simple swab test or a rapid test in the office. Once a diagnosis is made, there are options for treatment depending on the patient.
Strep throat treatment options
In order to prevent the spread of strep throat, it’s important to stay away from others while contagious. While infected with the strep throat virus, treatment is important in order to avoid further illness like rheumatic fever and increased severity in symptoms. Treatment options include the use of antibiotics including penicillin or amoxicillin (depending on personal allergies to antibiotics). If antibiotics do not work, it is important to see a doctor for further investigation. Always remember that the use of antibiotics creates a tolerance and need not to be overused. Consulting a doctor before deciding a treatment plan is always best, and keeping track of how often strep throat happens in a year is also a good idea.
How to avoid strep throat
Some people are more susceptible to strep throat than others. If strep throat is a common occurrence in patients, Breathe Clear Institute offers both invasive and noninvasive procedures to help prevent further infections. Simple way to avoid infection include:
- Covering your nose and mouth when you or others are coughing or sneezing (wearing a protective mask can also help in these instances)
- If you cough or sneeze directly into your hand, wash your hands with soap or use hand sanitizer right away in order to contain the virus
- When washing your hands often, do so for at least 20 seconds with soap and hot water
- Use antibiotic treatment plans as directed by your doctor and avoid contact with others until symptoms subside and you are no longer contagious
Viruses can’t always be avoided, but the above measures help to keep you safe and hygienic when viruses are spreading. If you’re interested in learning more about more permanent procedures to stop recurring strep throat, we’re here to help.
We can help with recurring throat problems like strep throat – Schedule an appointment with Breathe Right Institute
If you’ve been experiencing strep throat twice a year or more, it might be time to consult a doctor on how best to proceed rather than using antibiotic treatments every time. We can take a look at previous diagnoses and analyze the neck and throat area to assess what is best.