Strep throat is usually suffered in tandem with tonsillitis, even though the infection is not only in the tonsils. The common perception that a child who has had its tonsils removed is immune to strep throat is erroneous. As a matter of fact, tonsillectomies are not recommended for every child, although children suffering repeatedly from tonsillitis and strep throat in the year may be recommended for the procedure. Deciding to have a child’s tonsils removed is not without risks. Similar to other surgeries, bleeding is a risk when the operation occurs, as well as complications resulting from anesthesia and general process of undergoing surgery. This is why a look at the child’s overall health is incredibly important before deciding on this course of treatment.
Strep throat tends to be more popular among children and adolescents, but it can actually affect adults as well. In medical terms, the streptococcus pyogenes is a gram-positive bacterium of the Group A of the Streptococcus bacterium and is accountable for this type of infection. This bacteria may lodge itself in the nose and throat for long periods of time without making itself known. Conversely, it may manifest itself in people whose immune system is compromised. This bacteria is able to manifest itself through different conditions such as scarlet fever, sore throat and impetigo because of the existence of M proteins in the cell and its ability to produce exotoxins.
Direct contact and exposure to respiratory secretions of people affected with strep throat is what facilitates its spread. After being exposed, there is a lapse or incubation period between 2 and 5 days in which the newly affected subject will begin to show symptoms. It is this incubation period when the danger of others becoming infected is heightened.
Testing for strep throat is quite unpleasant, but necessary for doctors to confirm their suspected diagnosis and selecting a course of treatment. The test for strep throat involves using a swab similar to a Q-tip and taking a culture from the back of the person’s throat. As the swab touches the back of the throat, many people experience a gag reflex that is very uncomfortable. The results of the test are obtained at the doctor’s office after a mere 15 minutes. Should the test be negative, but the medical professional has the suspicion that the bacteria is present, he may choose to begin the treatment for strep and ask for more specialized testing on the sample from a larger laboratory.
Treatment and Diagnosis
The diagnosis of strep throat can be done easily and quickly with one of the following tests:
- Throat Swab
- Rapid Strep Test
Antibiotics are usually the treatment of choice for strep throat. Cefprozil, azithromycin, cefadroxil, cephalexin and amoxicillin are among the most popular antibiotics prescribed for the treatment of strep throat. The danger of not treating it is the spread of the infection within the body and to others, both of which should be avoided. Even when antibiotics are already attacking the infection, there are a few days in which the bacteria is still contagious to others. As a result, taking the necessary precautions to take care of other members of the family, classmates, etc. is very important. Some homemade solutions are also helpful in fighting strep throat including using saline water and gargling with it, as well as adding herbal tea to one’s day for further relief.