Most common in winter, strep throat is a bacterial infection that cannot be treated without the use of prescription antibiotics. Since strep has some similar symptoms to other upper respiratory infections, it is critical to make sure you know the difference and when to see a doctor for proper treatment and avoid potential complications.
Causes & Symptoms of Strep Throat
Strep throat is caused by an infection called group A strep, which can affect people of all ages but is primarily prevalent in young children. Strep throat is spread through droplets of moisture in the air after someone who in infected coughs or sneezes or through shared kitchen utensils. Symptoms develops quickly and suddenly, without much lead-up time and can include:
- Sudden sore throat
- Difficult or painful swallowing
- A rash of small, red dots along the back of the roof of your mouth
- Swollen tonsils that are either red or have patches of white
- Swelling in the glands or lymph nodes in your neck
This infection is most common in younger children, who can be vulnerable to additional symptoms including nausea, vomiting, stomach cramps and headaches.
Preventing Strep Throat
In order to avoid strep throat, you should take similar steps to avoiding other illnesses. Make sure you wash your hands regularly throughout the day with hot, soapy water for at least 30 seconds. When teaching children how to wash their hands, have them sing “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star” or the ABCs while scrubbing so they learn how long to wash for. When you feel a cough or sneeze coming on, move your body so you are covering your mouth and nose with the crook of your elbow, containing some of the droplets and germs to your person. This is called the “Vampire Method” due to the positioning of your arm. If a friend or member of your family begins to develop symptoms of strep throat, including a sore throat, do not share kitchenware such as cups or utensils with them. Make sure every piece is thoroughly washed with soap and hot water between uses to kill any germs.
Walk-In Treatment for Strep Throat in Northern Liberties & Fishtown, PA
If you begin to develop any symptoms of strep throat, visit AFC Urgent Care Northern Liberties for walk-in diagnosis and treatment. Open seven days a week, we offer later hours than most other walk-in clinics and primary care offices without ever requiring an appointment. Most major health insurance providers are accepted. Call today with questions!