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
How can I prevent contracting strep throat?
While there is no vaccine available to prevent strep throat, there are several behaviors to lessen the likelihood of developing a strep throat infection. These include:
- Avoid people with sore throats, and especially those with documented strep throat, until they have taken antibiotics for more than 48 hours
- Wash your hands frequently after using items which may harbor the GAS bacteria (for example, dishes and utensils)
- Don't share food or drinks with a sick individual
- Encourage ill individuals to cover their nose and mouth when they sneeze or cough.
Strep throat facts
- Most sore throats are caused by viruses, not strep bacteria.
- Symptoms of strep throat include sore throat (90%), headache (85%), fever (85%) and upset stomach (65%) in middle-aged children and adolescents. Symptoms associated with an upper respiratory infection (a "cold") are typically absent (for example, nasal congestion, cough, muscle aches and pains, nasal congestion and oral blisters).
- The diagnosis of strep throat is established either via a rapid strep test (RADT) or a throat culture.
- Strep throat is cured by appropriate antibiotic therapy.
- While rare, there are several complications that may develop from a strep throat infection.
American Academy of Pediatrics Red Book. Group A Streptococcal Infections. 2012: 668.
CDC.gov. Is it Strep Throat?
Pichichero, Michael. Group A Beta-hemolytic Streptococcal Infections. Pediatrics in Review. 1998; 19: 291-302.
Wald, Ellen. Antibiotic Treatment of Pharyngitis. Pediatrics in Review. 2001; 22: 255.
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