Strep throat is a bacterial infection that causes inflammation and pain in the throat. Group A Streptococcus bacteria cause this condition. Strep throat can affect children and adults of all ages. Sneezing and coughing can spread the infection from one person to another.
The strep bacteria are spread between individuals by sneezing, coughing, or contact with infected saliva through ways such as sharing utensils.
What are the symptoms of Strep Throat?
• Sudden sore throat
• Painful to swallow
• Swollen lymph nodes in the neck
• A fever of 101F or higher
• Red and swollen tonsils
• Headache, nausea or vomiting
• Body aches or rashes
How is Strep Throat Diagnosed?
Your doctor will perform a thorough examination of your throat and check for signs of inflammation. Your doctor may also check your neck for swollen lymph nodes and ask about other symptoms. If your doctor suspects you have strep throat, they may do a rapid strep test in the office.
This test determines whether your sore throat is caused by a strep infection or another type of bacteria or germ. Your doctor swabs the back of your throat with a long cotton swab, collecting a sample. At Medical Center of Marin, we will be able to test this sample on site while you wait to determine whether you are suffering from Strep throat or some similar condition.
How is Strep Throat Treated?
Treatment usually consists of a course of antibiotics to kill the bacteria and cure the infection. Your urgent care doctor might also recommend gargling or rinsing with an antibacterial mouthwash, or using warm salt water to soothe your throat and promote healing while you wait for the antibiotics to work. You’ll also need to drink plenty of fluids to combat the dehydration from fever, and analgesic pain relievers can help lower your fever and diminish your headache.