Strep throat, like many illnesses, is more common during the winter months. Although rates may increase during this time of year, it remains easy to treat and prevent.
Our AFC Urgent Care Monroe Rd. team provides further information about strep throat below, so keep reading!
What Is Strep Throat?
Strep throat is an infection of the throat and tonsils caused by a bacteria called group A streptococcus, which lives in the nose and throat. It’s possible to get the infection from someone who is sick with strep bacteria or who is a carrier of it.
While a sore throat is the most common sign of strep throat, other infections and viruses also have sore throat as a main symptom. With strep throat, a sore throat comes on quickly, and it’s usually accompanied by the symptoms that we’ve listed below.
Common Strep Throat Symptoms
- Sudden sore throat
- Red tonsils that have white spots on them
- Pain when swallowing
- Swollen neck glands
- Loss of appetite
- Abdominal pain
When Should I Visit the Doctor for Strep Throat?
It’s best to seek medical treatment within 48 hours after experiencing strep throat symptoms. If you test positive for strep throat, your doctor will prescribe antibiotics to get rid of the strep bacteria and help you feel better.
When strep throat is left untreated for too long, it can cause serious side effects. We’ve listed some of them below.
Complications Caused By Untreated Strep Throat
- Rheumatic fever—an autoimmune disease that may develop after a strep throat infection. It’s especially common among children ages 5–15, although older teens and adults may develop the disease.
- Otitis media—when strep throat bacteria move into the inner ear and cause an ear infection. Bacteria in the inner ear can cause severe pain, dizziness and nausea.
- Meningitis—occurs when the fluid surrounding the membranes of the brain and spinal cord become infected. In rare cases, meningitis can be fatal.
- Pneumonia—when the bacteria that cause strep throat move into the lungs.
- Toxic shock syndrome—in rare cases, the bacteria can enter the bloodstream. If the bacteria release toxins in multiple organs while in the bloodstream, it causes toxic shock syndrome, which can result in catastrophic organ failure.
We offer rapid strep tests at our AFC center! You don’t need an appointment to get one, so don’t hesitate to stop by today.