Strep Throat Treatment in Centennial and Castle Rock, CO
Children and adults alike can be susceptible to strep throat infection. This highly contagious disease is a result of infection with a bacteria called Group A Streptococcus. It is generally not as likely in children under the age of 2, or in those without tonsils.
Symptoms of Strep Throat
Since strep throat is a very common childhood disease, it is important to know typical strep throat symptoms:
- Sore throat
- Painful swallowing
- Very swollen tonsils that may also have white or yellow spots
- Small red spots, known as petechiae, located on the roof of the mouth
- Swollen lymph nodes on one or both sides of the neck
- Stomach pain
- Nausea and vomiting
Cough, runny nose/congestion, and hoarseness are typically not associated with strep throat infection. These are symptoms more associated with a viral infection, which can possibly happen at the same time as strep infection.
We recommend being seen in the office by one of our providers if there is concern for possible strep throat. It is important to diagnose and treat with appropriate antibiotic medication as untreated cases of strep can lead to additional health complications such as:
- Infection of the tonsils, sinuses, skin, blood, or middle ear
- Scarlet fever
- Inflammation of the kidneys
- Rheumatic fever
To diagnose a strep throat infection, a rapid strep test is performed in the office.
A rapid strep test involves swabbing the back of the patient’s throat with a cotton-tipped swab. This swab is then run through a rapid lab test and within minutes, can show whether or not the patient has a group A strep throat infection.
Some people can experience a false negative on the rapid strep test. It is a good test, but not perfect, so if the results of the rapid strep test are negative, then the medical provider will send a strep throat culture. A throat culture requires the same kind of swab from the back of the patient’s throat (done at the same time as the rapid swab), which is then placed in a petri dish to monitor if strep begins to grow. Over a few days, the culture sample may begin to grow strep bacteria, so it is the back-up testing for the rapid swab in the office. If the culture is also negative, there is no strep throat infection.
Treatment for Strep Throat
Thankfully, strep throat is easily treated using appropriate antibiotics. After 24 hours of taking these antibiotics, you will no longer be contagious. You then continue the antibiotics for the full prescribed course to fully clear the bacteria from your body.
It is also possible to relieve common symptoms of strep throat, particularly a sore throat, by taking over-the-counter medications such as ibuprofen or Tylenol. These medications can help to reduce the swelling of the tonsils or reduce fever, which can make the child more comfortable until the antibiotics are able to work.
How to Prevent Strep Throat
The best way to avoid catching strep throat from another person is to use healthy habits and good hygiene practices, such as:
- Frequently washing your hands
- Avoiding contact with known strep exposure until they have been on antibiotics for at least 24 hours
- Avoiding sharing cups and eating utensils
- Staying hydrated
- Get plenty of sleep
- Utilizing a humidifier
- Avoid potentially irritating substances like cigarette smoke or fumes from cleaning products