Strep Throat - PIH Health - Whittier, CA

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Healthy Living Online

Published on February 23, 2018

woman with sore throat

Strep Throat

The Signs, Symptoms and How to Prevent the Spread of Germs

woman with sore throatIt’s very likely that you may have experienced a sore throat during this cold and flu season. But how can you tell the difference between a sore throat and a strep throat infection? Though most common in children, strep throat can affect people of all ages, and, if left untreated, can lead to complications such as kidney inflammation or rheumatic fever.

Signs and symptoms of strep throat include:

  • Throat pain that lasts more than 48 hours
  • Tender, swollen lymph glands
  • Painful swallowing
  • Red and swollen tonsils (can include white patches or streaks of pus)
  • Tiny red spots on the area at the back of the roof of the mouth (soft or hard palate)
  • Swollen, tender lymph nodes in your neck
  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Rash
  • Nausea or vomiting (common in younger children)
  • Body aches

According to Elisabeth Brown MD, PIH Health Primary Care Physician, some recent cases have included mild fever with no sore throat or a mild sore throat accompanied with heart burn. Some cases have also included a rash and swollen lymph nodes.

Therefore, it is important to see a primary care physician as soon as you experience any of the symptoms listed above or any other unusual symptoms and always ask to get tested for strep throat.

How to prevent the spread of germs:

Strep throat bacteria, known as Streptococcus pyogenes or group A streptococcus, are highly contagious and can be spread through airborne molecules, meaning the bacteria can be transferred and picked up when someone with the infection coughs or sneezes. The bacteria can also live on surface areas, such as doorknobs or handles, which can then be transferred to your nose, mouth or eyes. Follow these simple steps to prevent the spread of strep:

  • Keep your hands clean. Use soap and water or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Cover your mouth when sneezing or coughing.
  • Don't share food or drinks, including drinking glasses or utensils.

Make an appointment with your primary care physician at the onset of strep throat symptoms to prevent further complications. To find a PIH Health primary care physician near you, visit: PIHHealth.org/Find-a-Doctor.

The information in Healthy Living Online is for educational purposes only.  It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice.  The reader should always consult his or her healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation, or if they have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan.

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