Potential cases of strep throat should always be examined by your primary care doctor. Strep throat is contagious, and untreated instances of strep throat can occasionally lead to severe medical complications.
Strep Throat Symptoms
Strep throat is caused by a bacterial infection that can cause your throat to feel scratchy and sore. Additional symptoms of strep throat include:
Inflamed and reddish-colored tonsils
Red specks on the palate
Fever and headache
Tender or swollen lymph nodes
Nausea and vomiting
Strep throat is most common among children, particularly those between the ages of 5 and 15, but people of all ages can contract strep throat. Testing for strep throat is easy, fast and painless. An analysis of a simple throat swab will determine if you have the strep throat bacteria.
Strep Throat Treatment
Oral antibiotics can help your body fight the infection, relieving the uncomfortable symptoms of strep throat and preventing its spread. Penicillin and Amoxicillin are the most widely prescribed medications for strep throat, however there are alternatives if you or your child is allergic to penicillin.
Once antibiotic treatment begins, most people with strep throat begin noticing improvement in 24 to 48 hours. Your doctor may also recommend an over-the-counter medication in addition to antibiotics if your strep throat is accompanied by fever and significant discomfort.
Strep Throat Recovery and Risks
Most patients with strep throat are able to return to school or work after the contagious period is over, which is generally about a day after beginning antibiotics. That said, you should adhere to the entire prescribed course of your medication, even if you no longer feel sick.
Strep throat can recur and lead to complications that include kidney inflammation and rheumatic fever. Untreated strep throat can also allow the bacteria to spread and infect other areas of your body.
If you or your child has symptoms of strep throat, please contact Dr. Andy Fine online or call 303-703-8583 today. Dr. Fine is a board-certified internal medicine specialist and primary care physician who is proud to provide quality medical care to families from the Littleton, Colorado, area.