Streptococcal Sore Throat

What is Streptococcal Sore Throat?

Streptococcal sore throat, also known as strep throat, is an infection of the throat caused by Streptococcal bacteria. It is a common condition among children and teens, but can affect adults, too. Strep throat usually presents itself with a sore throat, pain when swallowing, swollen lymph nodes in the neck, redness in the throat, and sometimes a fever.

Causes of Streptococcal Sore Throat

Strep throat is caused by a particular strain of Streptococcal bacteria known as Group A Streptococcus. It is spread through close contact with an infected individual; when the infected individual coughs, sneezes, or talks, droplets of saliva containing the bacteria will spread through the air and can be ingested by people who are in close contact.

Symptoms of Streptococcal Sore Throat

Strep throat usually presents with the following symptoms:

  • Sore throat
  • Pain when swallowing
  • Swollen lymph nodes in the neck
  • Redness in the throat
  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Nausea and/or vomiting
  • Body aches

Diagnosis of Streptococcal Sore Throat

The doctor will make a diagnosis based on the patient’s symptoms and a physical examination. They may also order a throat culture or a rapid strep test to confirm the diagnosis.

Treatment of Streptococcal Sore Throat

Strep throat is generally treated with antibiotics, which should be taken for 10 days. Over-the-counter medications, such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen, can be used for fever and pain. Other home remedies, such as gargling with salt water, may also help to soothe the throat. Patients should also drink plenty of fluids, stay away from irritants such as smoke or cold air, and get plenty of rest.