Strep throat (usually a more severe form of sore throat) is a very common disease, afflicting thousands of people during flu seasons. Although strep throat can be developed by anyone, at any time, the disease is most often seen in children, who tend to catch the disease in winter or spring. According to statistics, strep throat has the highest incidence in children and teenagers with ages between 5 and 15. Strep throat refers to throat infection with bacteria called Streptococcus pyogenes. The disease is generally manifested by reddish aspect of the throat, intense throat pain and discomfort, difficult swallowing, headache, fever, cold chills, pronounced fatigue and nausea. Although most cases of strep throat don't involve serious complications, sometimes the disease can lead to coronary damage, kidney affections or rheumatic fever.
Most of the time, strep throat is acquired by entering in contact with persons infected with the causative bacteria. The bacteria responsible for causing strep throat are highly contagious and they can be easily contracted by air, saliva or nasal secretions. Proper hygiene can substantially reduce the risks of infection with Streptococcus pyogenes and thus you should instruct your child to frequently wash his / her hands and avoid interacting with contaminated individuals during epidemics. In case you have become afflicted by strep throat, it is very important to properly wash eating utensils and dishes and to avoid sharing food or drinks with your child and other members of the family.
Strep throat usually requires paying a visit to the doctor's office. While home remedies may provide temporary relief for the symptoms of strep throat, the infection can only be overcome with proper medications. If the doctor confirms the presence of bacterial infection in the throat (by taking a sample of mucus from the throat and analyzing it in the laboratory) he will prescribe a course of antibiotics to deal with the infection. Common antibiotics used in the treatment of strep throat are penicillin V, erythromycin and clarithromycin.
Although most symptoms of strep throat will begin to ameliorate within the first few days of treatment, it is very important to complete the course of prescribed medications in order to fully eradicate the infection and to stop it from recurring. Strep throat doesn't require bed confinement, and patients are allowed to carry on with their regular activities over the entire duration of the treatment. After 2 or 3 days of treatment the disease loses its contagious character and patients can interact with other persons without the risk of transmitting the infection. However, it is still advisable to maintain proper hygiene and take other precautions until the disease is fully overcome in order to prevent contaminating other persons with the bacteria.By Groshan Fabiola