Strep throat is a bacterial infection caused by group A bacteria known as Streptococcus. It can cause significant pain and swelling in the throat and is typically more common among children and young teens, though it can affect adults as well. It can be distinguished by sharp pain for 2 or more days, as well as visible white patches or streaks in the back of the throat. Strep can be transmitted to others through the air from coughing or sneezing, so be sure to inform your family to cover their mouths with a tissue or sleeve whenever they feel one coming on.
Strep can have a variety of symptoms such as a high fever, a sore throat with white patches, headaches, swollen lymph nodes, and trouble swallowing. It is important to be aware that not all sore throats indicate strep. Many other minor sicknesses can cause sore throat such as the common cold or a sinus infection. Check for the symptoms mentioned above before going to your doctor. Strep can be treated by prescribed antibiotics your doctor gives you as well as some at-home remedies to ease your pain. When at home, drink warm liquids sooths the pain in the throat as well as taking over-the-counter pain relievers. Even turning on a cool-mist humidifier can help painful symptoms go away.
Be sure to keep an eye out for symptoms if your child starts complaining about a sore throat. If they do come down with strep throat, be sure to keep them at home while they recover so that they do not spread the sickness to other kids at school as younger children are much more susceptible to the bacteria.