Strep Throat (GAS) (cont.)
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.
Steven Doerr, MD
Steven Doerr, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Emergency Medicine Physician. Dr. Doerr received his undergraduate degree in Spanish from the University of Colorado at Boulder. He graduated with his Medical Degree from the University Of Colorado Health Sciences Center in Denver, Colorado in 1998 and completed his residency training in Emergency Medicine from Denver Health Medical Center in Denver, Colorado in 2002, where he also served as Chief Resident.
In this Article
- What is strep throat and what causes strep throat?
- What are the signs and symptoms of strep throat?
- Are the signs and symptoms of strep throat different in various age groups?
- Is strep throat contagious?
- How is the diagnosis of strep throat established?
- What are home remedies, OTC, and medical treatments for strep throat?
- What are the potential complications of strep throat?
- How can I prevent contracting strep throat?
- Strep throat facts
- Just a Sore Throat or Strep - Slideshow
- Take the Strep Throat Infection Quiz!
- Infectious Mononucleosis - Slideshow
- Strep Throat (Streptococcal) Infection FAQs
Are the signs and symptoms of strep throat different in various age groups?
The information listed above is seen in those most likely to have a strep throat infection - individuals that are older children and teenagers. However, other age groups may experience a different constellation of findings with a strep throat infection.
- Infants: more commonly have a thick purulent nasal discharge, low grade fever (< 101 F [38.33 C]), reduction in appetite and fussiness.
- Toddlers: children from one to three years of age may complain of a sore throat, have pain with swallowing and subsequently a limited appetite, and swollen lymph nodes (lymph glands) beneath the mandible (lower jaw bone).
- Adults: strep throat may have milder symptoms and thus may not prompt a medical evaluation unless an exposure history to strep throat is known.
Is strep throat contagious?
Strep throat is contagious most commonly via direct person-to-person contact. Passage of airborne droplets and/or saliva from the infected individual to another is the most likely mechanism of contracting strep throat. As such, close living quarters (home, classroom, day care centers, college dorms, etc.) provide an ideal environment for passage of GAS bacteria from one person to another. The risk of contracting a strep throat infection is approximately 40% in household environments. Most infectious disease specialists believe that a patient is no longer contagious after 24 hours of effective antibiotic therapy. Spread of strep bacteria via food borne transmission is less common than direct person-to-person exchange of droplets or saliva. The exact likelihood of developing strep throat from family pets is unknown, but most experts believe it is minimal.
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