A strep throat is basically an infection of the mucous membranes lining the pharynx. It is caused by bacteria and at times, infects the tonsils as well. Though it can affect anyone, school children are more prone to strep throat. Children under the age of two are also very vulnerable to the infection. Moreover, people who smoke, who are fatigued or live in damp and crowded conditions can be readily infected with strep throat. The condition is also called Streptococcal sore throat and occurs mostly in the months of November and April. Five to ten percent of all sore throats can be attributed to strep throat.
Strep throat, when left untreated, can cause rheumatic fever. It is quite likely that the bacteria causing the infection might transmit, from person to person, by coughing, sneezing and close contact. On rare occasions, strep throat can also be passed through food. This happens when an infected person accidentally coughs or sneezes over the food and contaminates it. Taking effective measures to prevent the spread of strep throat to others is important, as the condition is highly contagious. In case, you wish to know symptoms of strep throat and also how to prevent the infection, read the information given below.
Symptoms Of Strep Throat
- A painful sore throat
- High fever
- Muscle aches
- Bright red tongue
- Swollen lymph glands
Infants suffering from strep throat mostly have a nose drainage that is thick in color. A low-grade fever, coupled with a decrease in appetite, may also accompany. Young children may experience abdominal pain. The tonsils will appear swollen and bright red in color, with white and yellow patches on them. Occasionally, the roof of the mouth may also display small red spots. The signs of strep throat usually do not last for over five days.
Tips for Preventing Strep Throat
- Keep your mouth covered, so that the bacteria from a sick person do not enter your system. Also, ask the person who is coughing to cover his/her mouth. A disposable cough catcher like a tissue is a good option, and the sick person can carry a few of them for use.
- Do not come in contact with a sick person’s used tissues. You can ask the sick person to keep disposing off the used tissues. Infection can spread rapidly, if you come in contact with such tissues.
- Wash your hands thoroughly, as they carry a large percentage of the strep throat bacteria. Make sure you do this especially before eating or cooking food and after touching the infected person.
- You can use hand sanitizers to kill bacteria, but it should not be used as a substitute for hand washing.
- Keep the scrapes and sores clean. The cuts can also get infected with the strep bacteria. Thus, keep your wounds or injuries clean.
- Take daily dose of vitamins. Vitamins enhance body's natural immunity against germs and other ailments, and even fight the little bacteria responsible for strep throat.