Skip to main content

Strep Throat

AAA Pediatrics

Pediatrics located in Woodbridge, VA

Strep throat causes about three million sore throats each year. If your child has a sore throat that isn’t getting better after a few days of rest and fluids, see the pediatric specialists at AAA Pediatrics in Woodbridge, Virginia. Oscar Sugastti, MD, FAA, Jacqueline Adames, FNP-BC, and the team offer rapid strep tests and treatment for strep throat, so your child can feel better as soon as possible. To book an appointment, call AAA Pediatrics, or schedule online today.

Strep Throat Q & A

What is strep throat?

Strep throat is an infection of the throat caused by the bacteria group A streptococcus. This bacteria causes about one-third of all sore throats and is most common in children. The bacteria normally live in the nose and throat and can be spread by coughing and sneezing.

What are the symptoms of strep throat?

Strep throat can be incredibly painful and causes symptoms like:

  • Sore throat that starts abruptly
  • Pain with swallowing
  • Fever
  • Red, swollen tonsils sometimes with white patches or pus
  • Small red spots on the roof of the mouth
  • Swollen lymph nodes in the neck

If your child’s sore throat is accompanied by a cough, cold, hoarse voice, or pink eye, the sore throat is likely caused by a virus and not strep. When in doubt, see the team at AAA Pediatrics.

How is strep throat diagnosed?

Strep throat is most commonly diagnosed by a procedure called a rapid strep test. This test involves rubbing a piece of cotton on the inside of the throat to collect a small sample of tissue. The sample is then processed for several minutes to determine if the throat is infected with strep bacteria.

If the test results aren’t conclusive, your pediatrician performs a throat culture. The throat culture is collected in the same way, but takes longer to get the results. Once your pediatrician identifies the cause of your child’s sore throat, you can get a prescription for antibiotics, if appropriate.

How is strep throat treated?

Since strep throat is caused by bacteria, it can be treated with antibiotics. Some antibiotics work faster than others, so your pediatrician recommends the best option for your child. If your child is allergic to a particular antibiotic, there are alternatives available.

It’s important to use the entire prescription as directed, otherwise the infection could return if you stop using the medication early. This can be dangerous for children because an untreated or chronic strep infection can lead to rheumatic fever, a form of heart disease.

Your doctor also recommends at-home supportive care that you can provide, like giving your child plenty of fluids to drink, gargling with warm salt water, and allowing your child to rest.

If you suspect your child has strep throat, schedule an exam at AAA Pediatrics now by calling the office or using the online booking tool.