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What is strep throat?

What are the symptoms of strep throat?

Is strep throat contagious?

How is strep throat diagnosed?

How is strep throat treated?

How can I prevent strep throat?

Where can I buy home test kits for contributing factors of this condition?


What is strep throat? (top)

Strep throat is an infection caused by bacteria. It is called "strep" because the bacteria that causes the infection is called streptococcus.

What are the symptoms of strep throat? (top)

Adults with strep throat may have a sore throat, a fever and swollen neck glands. They usually donít have a cough or a runny nose.

Children with strep throat have a sore throat and may have tummy pain or a red rash with small spots. The rash is worse under the arms and in skin creases.

Is strep throat contagious? (top)

Yes. Symptoms from strep throat don't show up for about 5 days. You can give the infection to other people until you have been treated with an antibiotic for 1 to 3 days. Children with strep throat should not go back to school or day care until their fever has gone away and they have taken an antibiotic for at least 24 hours.

How is strep throat diagnosed? (top)

Your doctor can do a rapid strep test to check for strep bacteria. The doctor will rub a cotton swab over the back of your throat. With this test, the doctor may be able to find out in less than 1 hour if you have strep throat.

If the first test doesn't prove anything, then your doctor may do a longer test called a throat culture. A swab from your throat will then be rubbed on a special dish and the dish will be left to sit for two nights. If you have strep throat, streptococci bacteria will usually grow in the dish within the next 1 to 2 days.

How is strep throat treated? (top)

If you have strep throat, your doctor will give you an antibiotic a medicine that kills bacteria. Usually the antibiotic used for strep throat is a form of penicillin that can be taken as a pill, a liquid, or a shot.

To make sure the bacteria go away completely and don't spread to other parts of your body, you must finish all of the medicine. Your doctor will have you take the pills or liquid for about a week.

How can I prevent strep throat? (top)

If someone in your house has strep throat, you might get it. But you can take these steps to prevent it:

Make sure the person with strep throat covers his or her mouth when sneezing and coughing.

  • Don't handle used tissues or other items that may contain a lot of germs

  • Wash your hands regularly, especially before cooking and eating

  • Wash dishes, drinking glasses, knives, forks, and spoons in hot, soapy water

  • Keep sores and cuts clean because strep can get in there and cause problems, too

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