Strep throat is an acute contagious exudative tonsillo pharyngitis that is caused by a streptococcal bacterial infection; which leads to the swelling and inflammation specifically affecting the mucous membranes that lines both the tonsils and the back portion of the throat.
This has been considered as the common cause of sore throat among school-aged children and teens, although it can also be noted among adult individuals. This infection can still hurt a person even in the absence of tonsils that had been removed for some reasons, though some studies will say that an individual without tonsils has a lesser chance to develop strep throat infection.
Symptoms of Strep Throat
There are five common signs to watch for in a person in order to have an idea of strep throat infection to be manifested and these are:
- Sudden sore throat that usually develops within 24 hours, with painful swallowing and accompanied by fever and loss of appetite to eat and reduced drinking of fluids which might end in dehydration
- Red and swollen tonsils such as in a case of tonsillitis, and not commonly occurring together with fever; white patches or some streaks of pus might be visible in the tonsils; or tiny red spots present at the back of the throat
- Fever of 101°F or even higher along with a sore throat and other signs of strep infection
- Presence of body pains affecting the whole body or the rising of unusual rashes
- Feelings of headache, nausea or vomiting, though some physicians will take culture swab or a strep test from the throat to detect the infection
Strep throat is specifically caused by an infection of Group A streptococcus bacteria, which is referring to the Streptococcus pyogenes. It invades pharyngeal tissues that end up in an infection, resulting to some localized inflammatory reaction of the tonsils and the throat.
The causative organisms are usually found on the skin or in the throat area, and also known to cause other skin problem such as impetigo. Some patients who have the Group A Streptococcus on the skin and in their throat may not manifest any clinical symptoms of this infection.
The bacteria may have chances to spread among patients through coughing, sneezing or through some contact with an infected saliva by way of kissing or when sharing utensils for eating.
There a lot of ways to get rid of strep throat infection more quickly and these are:
Getting medical assistance for consultation and evaluation of symptoms
Physician’s advice must be strictly complied such the completion of prescribed antibiotics and taking enough time to rest
Taking enough time to sleep of at least 4-5 hours by daytime and about 6 to 8 hours by night time, aside from rest to boost back the immune system level
Gargle in salt water for several times and rinsing the mouth very well after without drinking the solution used as gargle
Taking some lozenges or any form of available herbal lozenges for relief
Drinking adequate amount of water or any fluids to keep fully hydrated
Using humidifiers or vaporizers to make breathing easier helps if strep throat happens most often and take note to avoid exposure to dry, hot air
Shulman ST, Bisno AL, Clegg HW, Gerber MA, Kaplan EL, Lee G, et al (2012 Nov). Clinical practice guideline for the diagnosis and management of group a streptococcal pharyngitis: 2012 Update by The Infectious Diseases Society of America. Clin Infect Dis55 (10):e86-e102.
Borek AL, Wilemska J, Izdebski R, Hryniewicz W, Sitkiewicz I (2011). A new rapid and cost-effective method for detection of phages, ICEs and virulence factors encoded by Streptococcus pyogenes. Pol J Microbiol. 60(3):187-201.
Shaikh N, Martin JM, Casey JR, Pichichero ME, Wald ER, Colborn DK, et al (2009 Oct). Development of a patient-reported outcome measure for children with streptococcal pharyngitis. Pediatrics. 124(4):e557-63.