Strep Throat

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Strep throat is a contagious infection, spread through close contact with an infected individual. Dr. Edward Hill tells us more about strep throat in todays 60 Second Housecall.

Dr. Hill:

Strep throat is caused by Group A Streptococcus bacteria. It is the most common bacterial infection of the throat.

Strep throat is spread by person-to-person contact with nasal secretions or saliva. Symptoms may be mild or severe. You usually start to feel sick about two to five days after you come in contact with the bacteria. Symptoms may include fever, red or sore throat, difficulty swallowing, headache, swollen lymph nodes in the neck and chills.

Most sore throats are caused by viruses, not strep-related bacteria. Strep cannot be accurately diagnosed by symptoms or a physical exam alone. Many of the other causes of sore throats may have the same symptoms.

Sore throats should only be treated with antibiotics if the strep test is positive. Antibiotics should be taken for 10 days, even though symptoms are usually gone after few days.

Symptoms of strep throat usually get better in about one week. Untreated, strep can lead to serious complications.

For North Mississippi Medical Center, Im Dr. Edward Hill.