What is it?

Strep throat is an infection of the throat caused by bacteria called streptococcus. There are different types of streptococci. The type that causes serious sore throats and needs to be treated with antibiotics is a Group A streptococcus. This throat infection is very contagious. They are usually passed directly from person to person.

What are the symptoms?

Signs and symptoms of strep throat can include:

  • Throat pain that usually comes on quickly.
  • Painful swallowing.
  • Red and swollen tonsils, sometimes with white patches or streaks of pus.
  • Tiny red spots on the area at the back of the roof of the mouth (soft or hard palate).
  • Swollen, tender lymph nodes in your neck.
  • Fever.
  • Headache.
  • Rash.
  • Nausea or vomiting, especially in younger children.
  • Body aches.

It’s possible for you or your child to have many of these signs and symptoms but not have strep throat. The cause of these signs and symptoms could be a viral infection or some other illness. That’s why your doctor generally tests specifically for strep throat. It’s also possible for you to be exposed to a person who carries strep but shows no symptoms.

What to expect?

If you are diagnosed with strep throat, you can consider discussing the following subjects with your doctor:

  • Since strep throat are caused by a bacteria, what treatment options does your GP recommend?
  • Once medications are started, when will you be not contagious?
  • What should you look for, if complications occur?

In addition to treatment by your doctor you can try the following things:

  • Painkillers might help in relieving pain and fever.
  • Bed rest.
  • Drink plenty of water.
  • Since it is a contagious disease, cover your mouth and nose if coughing or sneezing.
  • Wash your hands regularly.

Think you might have Strep throat?

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Think you might have Strep throat?