If you or someone you know is complaining of a sore throat, you may be wondering if their condition is the common known sickness strep throat. Strep throat is also known as streptococcal, and is an infection that occurs in the pharynx, larynx, and also the tonsils. Strep throat is highly contagious, so you need to know how to diagnose it so you can get treatment from your physician right away.
There are many symptoms of strep throat. Your sore throat will come on fast and suddenly, and the pain will be severe. You will not posses any of the normal cold or flu symptoms like a runny nose, a cough, or sneezing. However you will probably be running a temperature of at or above 101 degrees. You will also notice headaches, nausea, and a loss of appetite. Swallowing even your own spit will be both difficult and also painful, and you may have ear pain too.
There are also a lot of visual indications that a person has strep throat. Normally on the right side of your neck you see bumps and even some bruising. Even though it isn’t very common you may get them on the left side as well. The most common visual symptoms would be a bright red throat and enlarged swollen tonsils, sometimes with yellow and white spots all over them. Getting a rash or even hives on your skin can also occur. Since this infection is caused by a bacteria, you also may notice bad breath as well.
When you go into your doctors office they will normally do two different things to diagnose you. The first will be a physical examination. They will investigate your tonsils, throat, mouth, ears, and feel your neck. Then they will run a swab over your tonsils and do what is called a culture. This culture will tell if you are carrying the strep throat bacteria. They do this test right there at your doctors office so you will get the results in a very short amount of time. If your symptoms are dramatically visible the doctor may not even have to do a culture to diagnose you with strep throat.
Once you have been diagnosed with strep throat your doctor will prescribe you with an antibiotic prescription. Normally after 24-48 hours you are no longer contagious to other people. It is also recommended to take ibuprofen to help with soreness and to bring down your fever. You should avoid direct contact with other people until you are no longer contagious, and make sure that you take the entire prescription as recommended to make sure it does not come back. Also wash your sheets and replace things that go into your mouth, like your toothbrush, so that you don’t risk the getting infected again.