Symptoms of Strep Throat

November 12, 2012

Symptoms of Strep Throat

Strep throat is an infection in the tonsils and the throat which is caused by the bacteria streptococcal. The throat becomes inflamed and irritated. Sore throats which are due to a viral infection can be painful but if you are experiencing sneezing, coughing, stuffy or runny nose it is more than likely you do not have the symptoms of strep throat. Usual indications of strep throat are:

  • pain when swallowing

  • severe and sudden throat

  • symptoms of fever above 101°F (38.3°C)

  • lymph nodes and tonsils swollen

  • yellow or white spots appearing on a very red colored throat

  • stomach and headaches may also occur

Less common symptoms are;

  • lack of appetite

  • vomiting

  • aching body

  • rash on the skin of red appearance.

When a person has strep throat and they sneeze, cough and breathe, small droplets of the bacteria become airborne, therefore causing it to be extremely contagious. It can take up to 5 days for the symptoms of strep throat to develop. A quick strep test will be carried out by your doctor to confirm the diagnosis and symptoms of strep throat. It may be you require a throat culture test to be carried out as well.

If the test appears as negative but there are indications you may have strep throat, the throat culture test will be carried out because strep tests cannot be considered 100% accurate. The throat culture involves the doctor taking a swab from the throat and this will be sent to the laboratory to determine if strep bacteria grows. Should the strep test appear as positive a culture test is not required.

Symptoms of strep throat normally disappear within 7 days whether you have received treatment or not. Doctors tend to prescribe antibiotics to reduce the time the disease can be spread to others and also helps to limit the spread of the infection to other parts of the body. As long as you are experiencing the symptoms of strep throat you are still contagious. If given antibiotics the contagion will last 24 hours and if no antibiotics are taken the contagion can last for up to 2 to 3 weeks.

You may be advised by your doctor to take non prescribed pain relief which along with reducing pain can lower any fever you may be experienced. Anyone younger than 20 years of age should not be given aspirin as there is a connection to Reye syndrome.

To avoid getting strep throat try to keep away from anyone who has the strep infections. If this is not possible do not share the same drinking glass, eating utensils or toothbrushes.

As bacteria can survive on objects such as water faucets and doorknobs for a short time, make sure you wash your hands on a regular basis.

There are certain steps you can take to limit the spread if you have the symptoms of strep throat infection. Instead of handkerchiefs use throw away tissues and try to avoid coughing or sneezing on or around others and again wash your hands on a regular basis. After you have taken antibiotics for 24 hours you will be able to go back to school or the workplace.


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