Symptoms of sore throats caused by streptococcus bacteria group A differ from easy headaches and fever to severe pain and inflammations of throat and tonsils. In any form of apparition, the streptococcus infection must be treated with antibiotics to prevent complications and contagiousness for other persons.
In spite of the cases when the streptococcus is detected in rapid tests, most of the sore throats are triggered by viral infections, most of them caused by Influenza viruses. There are more types of streptococci responsible for different cases of throat pains; some of the strains release dangerous toxins that trigger allergic reactions such as fever rashes. Left untreated, streptococcus infections can spread to the other main organs and cause conditions affecting the heart like rheumatism or the kidneys like the glomerulonephritis.
Children under the age of three rarely develop streptococcus infections and most of the cases do not originate in the throat. The most exposed patients to sore throats triggered by the strep bacteria are children between 5 and 15 years of age. Most often, streptococcus infections occur during the months when children are in close contact with each other, representing late fall, winter and early spring.
The streptococcus sore throat develops the first symptoms within the first 3-5 days after they have been exposed and have caught the bacteria. This is the incubation period required for streptococci to multiply inside the body. Symptoms like fever, sore throat, headaches, chills, stomachaches and nausea appear sudden. The sore throat appears inflamed, irritated and the tonsils are red, swollen and covered with white or yellow points on the surface. On the roof of the mouth, some patients develop red or purple spots. The lymph nodes around the neck usually appear inflamed due to the bacterial aggression.
From persons to person, the sore throat symptoms differ from very mild forms to severe pain and general illness.
Streptococcus infections causing sore throat can easily be misdiagnosed as they resemble very much to other types of conditions triggered by Adenoviruses, Epstein Barr virus or by the bacteria Mycoplasma. Therefore, a complete diagnosis can only be established after a rapid strep test, a physical examination and a medical history of the patient. An appropriate medication with antibiotics can be prescribed when the positive diagnose of streptococcus is confirmed with a bacterial culture.
The classic treatment for streptococcus infections is represented by antibiotics that cannot reduce the disease period very much but can prevent complications and prevent the patients from spreading the bacteria. Antibiotics are only recommended if the exact type of streptococcus or other microbe has been established. The antibiotic effect can be increased by the administration of Ibuprofen.
Patients diagnosed with streptococcus must be kept in quarantine, especially children, in order to prevent contact with healthy subjects. After the antibiotic therapy has been started, persons can resume their activity inside the community. All patients should change their toothbrush after they gave been treated from streptococcus in order to prevent re-infection.
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