Every year, doctors diagnose thousands of cases of strep throat. This bacterial infection can, if left untreated, cause numerous complications and lead to conditions like rheumatic fever or kidney inflammation. Learning the early warning signs of strep throat can help your overcome their symptoms quickly and efficiently. Find out more about the signs of strep throat with Dr. Oscar Sugastti at AAA Pediatrics in Woodbridge, VA.
What is strep throat?
Strep throat is a bacterial infection which causes a sore and scratchy throat. Though a sore throat is a symptom of many sicknesses, strep throat only accounts for a few sore throats. Strep throat occurs commonly in children, but can also infect adults. Strep throat comes from a bacteria called Streptococcus pyogenes, often referred to as group A streptococcus.
Signs Your Child May Have Strep Throat
Strep throat’s symptoms usually appear quickly, with the most obvious symptom being throat pain and difficulty or painful swallowing. The tonsils swell, become red, and often have patches of pus on their surfaces. Fever, headache, rash, nausea, body aches, or vomiting often coincide with these symptoms. Red spots at the back of the throat may also appear. Children with a fever over 101, a sore throat which lasts longer than 48 hours, who have problems breathing or swallowing, or swollen lymph glands should see their doctor as soon as possible.
Diagnosing Strep Throat
Since the symptoms of strep throat can often present themselves during other viral illnesses, your child’s pediatrician will perform a test to determine if they are suffering from strep throat or another illness. During a rapid antigen test, your child’s doctor will swab their throat. The swab is then tested for antigens which indicate the presence of strep throat. A throat culture tested in a laboratory is another, less common, way to test for strep throat.
Strep Throat Treatments in Woodbridge, VA
Since strep throat is a bacterial infection, it responds to antibiotics. These are usually taken orally and begin working quickly. However, in the time between being diagnosed with strep throat and the antibiotics beginning to work, you will want to manage your child’s symptoms. Over-the-counter medications like ibuprofen and acetaminophen can help relieve symptoms.
For more information on strep throat, please contact Dr. Sugastti at AAA Pediatrics in Woodbridge, VA. Call (703) 580-6400 to schedule your appointment with your child’s pediatrician today!