Covid-19, common colds, and allergy season are just a few of the things that might be to blame if you’re experiencing a sore throat.
But if it’s a case that is very painful, it may also be indicative of strep throat.
According to Dr. Sara Siddiqui, a clinical assistant professor and a pediatrician, strep throat cases have grown and gotten worse over the past year.
The prevalence of invasive Group A strep, a rather serious form of the illness in which germs move past the throat and into other organs and even in the bloodstream, has grown over the past year, as per the C.D.C.
People frequently put off receiving medical attention because strep is really easy to mistake for other ailments.
According to assistant professor of otolaryngology Dr. Anna Butrymowicz, “People say, ‘Oh, I’ll smile and bear it, I’ll grin and bear it.
But in order to begin treating the illness and stop it from spreading, it’s imperative to have a prompt, and precise diagnosis.
Here are some tips on how to recognize strep throat symptoms, and how to get properly diagnosed and get treated for it.
The unmistakable first sign is a sore throat. According to the C.D.C., strep is present in around one in ten people with sore throats.
Runny noses, congestion, coughing, and sneezing are frequently signs of various illnesses, however.
According to Dr. Sindhu Aderson, an attending physician, and the medical director at the Central Region “the no cough is crucial.”
Even while strep is generally not thought to be a deadly illness, the pain can nevertheless be agonizing.
Dr. Siddiqui noted that kids frequently describe feeling as though they are swallowing glass shards. People may also experience pain while simply yawning.
Their tonsils can expand, have a white covering, become red, or create pus streaks.
Headaches can also appear in certain strep patients.
People with strep frequently experience fevers and may experience enlarging, painful lymph nodes.
Dr. Butrymowicz said that if you have a temperature of 100.4 or higher and a severe sore throat that makes swallowing painful, you should consult an urgent or primary care physician immediately.
Other signs and symptoms in kids include: They are particularly prone to scarlet fever rashes.
According to Dr. Siddiqui, this year in particular, pediatric cases of strep have a somewhat slight variation from the usual. The reason for this is unknown.
Along with the typical sore throat, kids have also gone to the hospital with nausea, vomiting, and stomach pain.
Dr. Siddiqui advises that you should visit your doctor for testing if your kid has a sore throat and a fever for longer than 24 hours.
For strep throat, there is unfortunately no readily accessible at-home test.
According to Dr. Butrymowicz, if you display four key symptoms—enlarged lymph nodes, white coating over the tonsils, a lack of a cough, and a temperature of 100.4 or higher—some urgent care facilities may diagnose you without doing any tests.
A quick throat swab, which may produce findings in about ten minutes, and a throat culture swab, the latter of which is more reliable but often takes 24- 48 hours to produce results, are the two diagnostic procedures that doctors can also use.
Antibiotics are used by doctors to treat strep infections, but some of the drugs they frequently suggest, such as certain varieties of amoxicillin, are becoming scarce as more individuals contract the disease, according to Dr. Siddiqui.
After beginning an antibiotic, symptoms may begin to subside within 24-48 hours. Most patients take the medication for ten days, however.
Despite the widespread misconception that strep throat exclusively affects youngsters, anybody can contract the virus.
The illness is most common in children between the ages of 5 and 15, although parents, teachers, and anybody else who often interacts with them are also at risk.
Here’s what you can do to lower your risk:
- Be careful what you touch with your mouth.
This is because germs and viruses may stay on objects like cups and dining utensils so it’s a good, simple rule to follow. Don’t share anything that comes in contact with your mouth, such as foods or lip cosmetics.
- Sanitize your hands.
You’ve probably heard it before: Regularly washing your hands may prevent illness. According to Vyas, strep spreads by droplets. As a result, you might get strep if, for instance, a person who has the virus coughs onto a table and you touch the surface before touching your lips without first washing your hands.
- In crowded places, wear a medical mask.
According to Butrymowicz, wearing a face mask in crowded places like the metro or grocery stores can help save you from breathing in those pesky droplets.