Do you feel pain in your throat or is it tough to swallow while you eat? Have you considered the possibility of infection? Such pain or similar symptoms can be a cause of many different types of ENT & Throat diseases, and one such infection that could hamper the basic activities of daily lives difficult is strep throat.
What is strep throat?
Strep Throat is a bacterial infection caused by Streptococcus bacteria that causes inflammation and pain in the throat. It is commonly found in children between the age of 5 to 15. It is contagious and can be caught by sneezing, coughing, sharing utensils, and other ways of close contact with the person that can spread from one person to another.
As discussed above, it is a highly contagious bacterial infection. It spreads through respiratory droplets when someone sneezes or coughs and becomes airborne. It generally spreads faster among children and therefore spreads faster in schools and daycare centers. It can also happen to parents who are constantly surrounded by children.
What are the symptoms of strep throat?
Symptoms may differ from person to person depending upon the severity of the disease and the symptoms develop after 5 days of exposure.
Commonly known symptoms include-
- Red throat with white patches
- Sore throat
- Trouble swallowing
- Loss of appetite
- Swollen lymph nodes in the neck
Less commonly known symptoms
- Stomach pain
There is a rash associated with strep throat known as scarlet fever. The rash may appear before the appearance of other symptoms. The rash comes as redness of the skin and fine bumps and may go in a week but the peeling of the skin may persist after for several days.
What causes strep throat?
Strep throat is caused by streptococcus pyogenes or group A streptococcus bacteria. If you’re exposed to this bacteria and then touch your eyes, nose, or mouth. It can also be spread if you share food, or drink with a person with active strep throat. You can also catch strep throat infection if you come in contact with a contaminated object such as door knobs, or faucets with group A bacteria. Kids are generally more likely to get strep throat.
What is the treatment for strep throat?
Since strep throat is a bacterial infection, the doctor will prescribe an antibiotic to constrain the spread of the bacteria and infections. Antibiotics help reduce the length of illness, reduce symptoms, prevent the spread of bacteria, and prevent rheumatic fever, an inflammatory immune response.
Doable home remedies
Some of the home remedies that can be tried to curb the spread of the infection include-
- Drinking warm beverages, such as hot lemon water, or tea.
- Eating soft foods
- Using a cool-mist humidifier
- Sucking on ice, or popsicle sticks
- Gargling with salt water
- Taking pain relievers
How to prevent strep throat infection?
There is no vaccine available at this point for strep throat infection, you can therefore do the most effectively by washing your hands with soap and water. Also, keep in mind that not sharing towels or sheets with someone who has strep throat.
Another important way is to keep your children’s eating and drinking dishes separate. Do not share food, drink, napkins, or clothes with your child if they have an infection, teach the child to cover their mouth while sneezing or coughing. Replacing the toothbrush of the child after the antibiotics end and making sure they wash their hands regularly.
What are the complications caused by strep throat?
Some of the commonly known complications include:
- Ear infection
- Puss filled infection developing in the back of the throat.
- Rheumatic fever
- Inflammatory arthritis in more than one joint
- inflammation of the kidneys
- Blood poisoning
- Inflammation of membrane covering the brain and spinal cord.
- Streptococcal toxic shock syndrome
- Sudden changes in a child’s behavior, personality, or movement after a strep infection.
Strep throat is a common infection that generally occurs in children and can be seen between the age group of 5-15 years. Strep infection, even though contagious can be treated with antibiotics and doable home remedies. If taken appropriate precaution measures, the chances of the spread of the infection decrease rapidly. However, it is advisable to visit your healthcare provider if you develop a strep throat infection.
Bansal Hospital Bhopal has the best ENT department that caters to every patient by providing appropriate diagnosis and treatment. The department also takes utmost care especially if the patient is children and needs constant supervision.