Strep throat is a bacterial infection caused by a streptococcus that cause inflammation and pain in the throat, often followed by fever. The condition is contagious and very unpleasant and most cases occur in children and teenagers, although toddlers and adults can also suffer from strep throat. However, not every throat ache is strep throat, so you should document thoroughly to know whether or not you are dealing with a bacterial infection or simply a cold. According to the comprehensive articles featured on www.strepthroatmd.com, here’s what you need to know about this condition:
How can you get strep throat
Strep throat is a common disease during winter and the symptoms start to appear between 1 to 4 days before acquiring the infection because this condition has an incubation period. Strep throat can be transmitted through droplets coming from persons infected who are sneezing and coughing, if you touch your mouth or nose after having touched a surface with droplets or if you drink from the same glass with a person infected. Once you have been infected, it is a matter of days before you will start feeling ill.
The most common symptoms of strep throat
Strep throat usually starts with intense pain in when swallowing and strong fever of 101 F or above. Your tonsils will become red and swollen, you will notice small red dots on the back of the roof of your mouth and your lymph nodes will be tender and swollen. Besides the effects on your neck, strep throat will also cause a poor general condition with headache and nausea, abdominal pain, the loss of appetite and an overall discomfort that will keep you in bed.
How can you treat strep throat
Once you start feeling ill, a simple test called throat swab can determine whether or not you have acquired a bacterial infection and the doctor will prescribe you some antibiotics that are designed to fight a particular type of bacteria. It is very important that you do not self-medicate because a wrong antibiotic can worsen your condition. The antibiotic will make you feel better, will lower the fever, will help prevent the infection from spreading to your friends and family and will reduce the risk of severe complications. Besides the antibiotics cure, you can also take anti-inflammatories that will reduce the swelling and you can gargle with salted water to loosen the mucus and flush out the bacteria. Honey will help you ease the pain and discomfort in swallowing, as well as the soothing foods like soups, purees, mashed potatoes and yoghurts. Very cold foods and drinks may also be calming for your pain and you should avoid acid and spicy foods and you should stay away from irritants that can disturb your throat and lungs. Drink black tea, chamomile tea and apple cider vinegar and you will swallow easier.