There are many people who walk through the doors at Central Illinois Urgent Care with symptoms related to strep throat. It is not very easy to tell the difference between strep (streptococcal pharyngitis) and a sore throat. The former is a bacterial infection that affects the tonsils and throat, while the latter is viral and cannot be cured with antibiotics. Having the rapid strep test will give you a good idea of how to proceed.
Getting Tested For Strep
Testing can be done in the office of most medical professionals. At Central Illinois Urgent Care, we offer a rapid strep test that provides immediate results.
Strep throat is really common in children between the ages of 5 and 15. Even so, anyone can get it if they come in contact with saliva or nasal fluids from an infected person. It is very common to see it spread amongst people who live in the same home and children who are exposed to it when they go to school.
Symptoms Related To Strep Throat
The symptoms of strep can range from mild to severe. It usually takes 2 to 5 days for someone to start feeling sick after being exposed to the bacteria.
It usually begins with a very high fever that escalates after a day or so. There is also a chance that you may experience chills.
The throat becomes very red and sometimes it has white spots. It may be painful to swallow. The glands in your neck may be swollen and quite tender.
Other symptoms of strep include:
- Feeling generally sick
- Appetite loss
There are some strep strains that leave people with a rash similar to patients with scarlet fever. It begins in the chest and neck area, and eventually spreads over the entire body. The skin may start to feel like sandpaper.
Treatments For Strep Throat
If you are given a positive strep test result, you will be given antibiotics. These are given to patients to help prevent illnesses that are very serious, like rheumatic fever.
Amoxicillin or penicillin are the most common medicines prescribed. Even though the symptoms only last for a couple of days, it is important to take the antibiotics for 10 days.
Here are some tips that will help you feel better:
- Consume warm drinks, like tea with honey and/or lemon.
- Gargle a few times a day with warm, salty water (1 cup of water and 1/2 teaspoon of table salt).
- Drink some cold liquids and eat popsicles.
- Hard candy and throat lozenges are very helpful, but they may create a choking hazard for children that are very young.
- Use a humidifier to keep the air moist since your throat may be dry and very painful.
- Non-prescription remedies like acetaminophen can be very helpful as well.