What Is Strep Throat ?
Strep throat is a bacterial infection of the throat that causes soreness, inflammation, and itchiness of the throat. Although it may not sound serious, strep throat should not be taken lightly as it can lead to life threatening complications if it is left untreated. It is also important to know that just because one has a sore throat, it does not mean that it is a strep throat infection. Strep throat usually affects kids and teenagers between the ages of 4 and 16.
What Are The Symptoms ?
Some of the typical symptoms of a strep throat infection are throat soreness, pain while sleeping, fever, swollen tonsils and lymph glands and white dots or pus on the posterior region of the throat. The appearance of rashes may also indicate a strep throat infection. Learn more about strep throat symptoms
How Is It Treated ?
Strep throat infections are treated with the use of antibiotics such as penicillin, amoxicillin, azithromycin, cephalexin, cefladroxil, cefprosil etc. The antibiotics are administered to the affected individual either orally or through injection in the case of young kids.
General Information About Strep Throat:
Strep bacteria can also cause pharyngitis which is a swelling of the throat. To detect strep, a procedure called a rapid strep test is carried out. In this test, a throat swab is taken and tested. The results whether positive or negative are given in matter of 20 minutes to the patient. Another test called throat culture may also be done and is generally more effective than the rapid strep throat test.
Strep bacteria easily spread from an infected person to a healthy person. Transmission may be through close contact or through an infected person's persona items such as their toothbrush, handkerchief, towels etc.
If you test positive for strep throat, your doctor may start you on antibiotics. Antibiotics fasten the recovery process and also lower chances of the infection spreading to another person. As strep throat can cause muscular pain or swollen lymph nodes, antibiotics are useful in relieving these symptoms. Antibiotics that are generally used in treating strep throat symptoms include cephalexin, penicillin, amoxicillin and clandamycin. Strep throat may also be treated with Azithromycin. As with most infections, your doctor would recommend that you complete the course of antibiotics administered.
To reduce your chances of acquiring strep throat, you should keep a distance from the infected person and also eat a healthy diet, rich in fruits and vegetables. Also make sure that you get enough sleep and exercise regularly.
If strep throat is not treated in time or improperly treated, it can lead to certain complications. These include conditions such as scarlet fever (characterised by skin rash and small bumps on the skin), Glomerulonephritis, (a renal disease that causes kidney damage), PANDAS syndrome, Tourette's syndrome, other OCD's.
Strep Throat And Throat Cancer:
Strep throat is very different from throat cancer. Throat cancer is a condition in which a cancerous tumor develops in your throat whereas strep throat is a bacterial condition. Throat cancer occurs when cells in the body mutate and multiply uncontrollably thus leading to the formation of a cancerous tumor. Throat cancer can be life threatening if not detected or treated in time.