Sore Throat (cont.)
John P. Cunha, DO, FACOEP
John P. Cunha, DO, is a U.S. board-certified Emergency Medicine Physician. Dr. Cunha's educational background includes a BS in Biology from Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, and a DO from the Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences in Kansas City, MO. He completed residency training in Emergency Medicine at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center in Newark, New Jersey.
Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD
Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.
In this Article
- Sore throat facts
- What causes a sore throat?
- What are the symptoms of a sore throat?
- How long should a sore throat last?
- What are home remedies for a sore throat?
- What is strep throat and why is it different?
- When should I seek medical care for a sore throat?
- What is the treatment for sore throat?
- What if I have multiple recurrent episodes of strep throat?
- What can I do if I have a sore throat and am pregnant?
- Pictures of The Anatomy of a Sore Throat - Slideshow
- Pictures of Natural Cold & Flu Remedies - Slideshow
- Pictures of The Common Cold - Slideshow
What if I have multiple recurrent episodes of strep throat?
There are a number of situations in which a child or adult can have recurrent positive strep tests.
- The first, and most common, is that the strep bacteria were never eradicated in the first place. The person did not get all of the doses of the medication prescribed. Unless the affected person takes a full 5 to 10 day course of antibiotics, the strep throat will not clear. Even missing a dose or two can be a problem. The patient should take all medication exactly as prescribed, and finish all the medication, even if the sore throat has resolved.
- Individuals may be asymptomatic carriers of strep (a person who has strep in their throats all the time as part of their normal bacteria, but without symptoms of a sore throat). It may be necessary to test close contacts of a person with recurrent episodes of strep to see if they are carriers.
- All strep throat bacteria will be killed by penicillin. If penicillin does not cure strep throat, the affected person should see their a doctor. In rare cases, other bacteria in the throat can secrete an enzyme (penicillinase) that breaks down penicillin. This can be overcome by using a drug that is resistant to this enzyme.
What can I do if I have a sore throat and am pregnant?
If you are pregnant and your sore throat symptoms are severe, talk to your doctor. Home remedies such as over-the-counter lozenges or saltwater gargles are generally safe. Acetaminophen (Tylenol) can be used for pain or fever. If symptoms last for more than three days, or are associated with a fever, you should see your doctor to be tested for strep throat.
Additional resources from WebMD Boots UK on Sore Throat
REFERENCE: CDC.gov. Get Smart: Know When Antibiotics Work.
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