Know the signs of strep – it’s not just a cold!
It’s cold season again, and that means that runny noses and sore throats are about to be the norm. But sometimes a cold is not just a cold. In fact, if you were exposed to the bacterial cause; you may have strep throat! Strep throat is not a pleasant infection, and it can be hard to identify without seeing a doctor, however it is highly treatable, and with treatment recovery can be very quick. Keep reading to find out more about strep throat and what to do if you think you have it.
Strep throat is a bacterial infection which affects 11 million Americans every year. Typically associated with throat pain, Strep is a contagious infection, and even after symptoms subside it can be contagious for up to 3 weeks if not treated with antibiotics. Strep throat can put you out of commission for days. Many people associate any throat pain with strep, but not all infections affecting the throat are caused by the streptococcal bacteria. If you are experiencing pain or fever it is always a good idea to see a doctor, but recognizing the symptoms can be extremely helpful.
Symptoms of Strep Throat
Strep throat is a bacterial infection caused by streptococcal bacteria. Typically strep throat symptoms include:
- A sudden and painful sore throat
- Pain when swallowing
- Fever over 101° F
- Swollen tonsils & lymph nodes
- White or yellow spotting on the back of a bright red throat
People often confuse the symptoms of a sore throat caused by a viral infection with strep throat, which is not the case. Strep is caused by a bacterial infection and will usually not be accompanied by standard cold symptoms (such as runny nose, congestion, sneezing). It is always a good idea to consult a physician if you have any of the symptoms listed above, as proper treatment will shorten recovery time and reduce the risks to others.
Treatment of Strep Throat
Strep throat is most effectively treated by antibiotics. With an antibiotic treatment, strep symptoms and contagion risk may be alleviated as quickly as 24 hours after beginning treatment. Some doctors will also advise patients with strep to consume over-the-counter medicine such as acetaminophen to reduce swelling, fever, and pain. Follow any medication’s directions and do not take anything your doctor does not prescribe. In addition to any medications (as with any illness), plenty of rest, fluids, and good nutrition all contribute to speed of recovery and comfort while ill.
At Prime Urgent Care, we diagnose and treat a wide range of illnesses and infections. If you think you have strep throat, or you are experiencing any symptoms of an infection (bacterial or viral), Prime Urgent Care will be there to advise you on the best course for recovery. Don’t let a sudden illness disrupt your life, contact us for an appointment, or visit our offices today so you can feel well again!