(Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis, and Treatment)
John Mersch, MD, FAAP
Dr. Mersch received his Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of California, San Diego, and prior to entering the University Of Southern California School Of Medicine, was a graduate student (attaining PhD candidate status) in Experimental Pathology at USC. He attended internship and residency at Children's Hospital Los Angeles.
William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR
Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.
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.
- Strep throat facts
- What is strep throat?
- What causes a sore throat?
- What are tonsils and tonsillitis?
- What are pharynx and pharyngitis?
- Viral causes of throat infection
- Bacterial causes of throat infection
- How common is strep throat?
- Is strep throat contagious?
- What are the signs and symptoms of strep throat?
- Are strep throat symptoms different in children compared to adults?
- When should I be concerned about a possible strep throat?
- How is strep throat diagnosed?
- Who should be tested for strep throat?
- How is strep infection treated?
- How can viral throat infection be treated?
- Are there any recommended strep throat remedies and symptom reducers?
- When should the tonsils be removed?
- Why is it very important to detect and treat a strep throat?
- What are the potential complications of untreated strep throat infection?
- Is there a vaccine for strep throat?
- Can strep throat be prevented?
- Just a Sore Throat or Strep - Slideshow
- Take the Strep Throat Infection Quiz!
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- Strep Throat (Streptococcal) Infection FAQs
- Patient Comments: Strep Throat - Diagnosis
- Patient Comments: Strep Throat - Length Symptoms Lasted
- Patient Comments: Strep Throat - Treatment
- Patient Comments: Strep Throat - Home Remedies for Symptoms
Strep throat facts
- Most throat infections are caused by viruses.
- The symptoms of strep throat include fever, sore throat, and swollen and often tender lymph nodes in the neck, headache, and upset stomach.
- The diagnosis of strep throat is confirmed by a throat culture or rapid-strep test.
- Strep throat is cured by antibiotic therapy.
- If left untreated, strep throat may cause heart and kidney problems.
What is strep throat?
While many people use the terms sore throat, tonsillitis, and strep throat interchangeably, there are significant clinical differences among these conditions. Understanding the differences can give patients a better idea of how and when to be concerned and when to seek advice from a physician.
Strep throat is only one of many possible causes of throat infection and sore throat. While strep throat is most common in children and adolescents, it can affect people of all ages. It may however, have different signs and symptoms depending upon the patient's age.
What causes a sore throat?
A sore throat may have many causes. The most common cause of a sore throat is an infection of the throat and the surrounding structures. Any inflammation or infection of the pharynx, tonsils, esophagus (the food tube), or larynx (the top opening part of the windpipe) may cause sore throat symptoms.
What are the tonsils and tonsillitis?
The tonsils are red, oval clumps of tissue located at the back and to the sides of the throat. When viewed microscopically, they appear very similar to lymph gland/lymph node tissue. Their location allows the tonsils to intercept germs as they enter the body through the nose and throat. They contain infection-fighting cells and antibodies (infection-fighting proteins in the body) that help stop the spread of the germs further into the body.
Tonsillitis refers to conditions in which the tonsils become red, sore, and swollen because of inflammation. The term "tonsillitis" does not imply a specific cause of a sore throat. There are many causes of inflammation of the tonsils. Tonsillitis is a common cause of sore throat.
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