Common Signs of Strep Throat

November 12, 2012

Common Signs of Strep Throat

A strep throat displays the same symptoms as a normal sore throat except that the strep throat is caused by bacteria and is highly contagious.

What is a strep throat?

The symptoms of a normal sore throat include swollen lymph nodes, and difficulty in swallowing, but these symptoms are also signs of strep throat.

Indications of strep throat are caused by the streptococcus strain of bacteria and as there are several bacteria which belongs to this group it means there are various bacterial causes of strep throat.

Strep throat tends to appear in children and teenagers but anyone can be affected with this highly contagious disease which is passed through person to person contact. It is an airborne infection and therefore if someone sneezes or coughs and does not cover their mouth, it can be passed on.

If strep throat is not treated, the symptoms ca

n elevate to rheumatic fever and there is also a throat condition which can cause post streptococcal glomerulonephritis which is a rare kidney complication.

Signs of strep throat normally start between 2 and 5 days after coming into contact with the streptococcus bacteria. The indications can appear without any warning and include the following:

  • sudden fever

  • swollen lymph nodes in the neck

  • red throat which may have yellow or white patches in the area of the throat

  • sore throat

  • dizziness

  • vomiting, nausea and headaches

  • pain in the body and stomach

  • chills

  • appetite loss

  • problems when swallowing

  • in very rare occasions rashes similar to scarlet fever may appear.

Why is a strep throat different?

An ordinary sore throat is normally caused by a viral infection unlike strep throat which is caused by bacteria. The indications and signs can appear similar but one way to identify the difference is that a sore throat along with runny or stuff nose, sneezing and coughing are not normal signs of strep throat. To confirm that it is in fact strep throat other tests have to be carried out. A quick strep test is normally carried out by a doctor to confirm the condition. However if the results show as negative but the doctor still has concerns, he or she may request a swab of the throat to check for the presence of streptococcus bacteria. If the strep test shows as positive there is no need for a throat swab to be carried out and the results of the test are normally given two or three days after the examination.


Strep throat normally disappears on its own but treatment is usually given to provide relief from the signs of strep throat. Common treatments are taking over the counter pain relief, throat lozenges, drinking warms liquids, avoiding cold drinks, gargling at least three times a day with salted water and use of a vaporizer or humidifier to help moisten the throat.

Penicillin or amoxicillin may be prescribed but these may not help you to recover quicker. They are normally given to reduce the risk of contagion to other people and reduce the chances of bacteria spreading to other parts of the body. After two days of taking the antibiotics you will normally stop being contagious.

To prevent contracting indications and signs of strep throat try to avoid coming into contact with people who you know have strep throat. If this is not possible, do not share drinks or toothbrushes and wash your hands as soon as you can. Hand washing is essential in the prevention of strep throat as the bacteria can live for a short time on surfaces you touch. Bacteria can be in your toothbrush therefore if you have suffered from strep throat it is wise to change your toothbrush.

Strep throat symptoms are painful but can be treated, therefore if you have any doubts about whether you have this condition contact your doctor.


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