Information on Strep Throat

Sore throat is a painful inflammation of the pharynx. The pharynx (pronounced FAAR-ingks) is the part of the throat that lies between the mouth and the larynx (pronounced LAAR-ingks), or voice box. It is associated most commonly with the common cold (see common cold entry) or influenza (the flu; see influenza entry). While most sore throats heal without complications, in some cases, they develop into a serious illness.

How is Strep Throat Transmitted?

Strep Throat is transmitted directly from person to person by coughing, sneezing, and close contact. Very occasionally strep throat is passed through food, when a food handler infected with strep throat accidentally contaminates food by coughing or sneezing.

Signs and Symptoms of Strep Throat

The signs and symptoms of strep throat are red, sore throat with white patches on tonsils, swollen lymph nodes in neck, fever, and headache. Nausea, vomiting, and abdominal pain are more common in children. The patient will usually not have a cough, unlike in a viral infection.

More often than not, a sore throat is usually caused by allergies or a viral infection that will usually go away on its own. But some sore throats are the result of the bacteria streptococcus and are more serious.

Strep throat is highly contagious: you and your child may catch it at school, kinder garden, work, from your family members or any group of people. It usually affects people in early spring, winter or the last days of the fall, but it may also occur in other months of the year. You can have this bacterial infection at any age, but most at risk are teenagers and kids.

In addition, allergies (allergic rhinitis) can cause a sore throat. Usually, treatment will be delayed until the culture results are known. Doctors will often begin treatment of a sore throat immediately if there is a family history of rheumatic fever, if the patient has scarlet fever, or if rheumatic fever is commonly occurring in the community at the time. Otherwise, antibiotics should NOT be given without a positive strep test (culture or rapid strep test).

Strep throat is a contagious disease caused by infection with streptococcal bacteria. Strep throat symptoms include fever, pain, redness, and swelling of the throat and tonsils. Strep throat may produce mild or severe symptoms.

Sore throat (pharyngitis) is a painful inflammation of the pharynx, which is the part of the throat that lies between the mouth and the larynx (voice box). Sore throat is often a symptom of various illnesses such as colds and flu, glandular fever, respiratory tract infections, tonsillitis, and chickenpox. While most sore throats heal without complications, in some cases, they develop into a serious illness.

Although strep throat is most common in school-aged children and teens, adults may also get this disease. Strep throat is more widespread during the school year when a large number of students are present in an enclosed space, laughing, yelling, sneezing, and coughing.The bacteria are present in the nose and throat, so normal activities such as sneezing, coughing, or shaking hands can spread the infection to other people.

The infection can also be acquired by touching objects such as books, tables, or other hard surfaces that were handled by an infected person.