If you’re suffering from a sore throat that seems to have come out of nowhere, you may have strep throat. Strep throat is a bacterial infection, causing a scratchy, painful throat and numerous other unpleasant symptoms. If you or your child has symptoms of strep throat, call Monrovia Internal Medicine & Primary Care in Duarte, California, today to make an appointment with Ulin Sargeant, MD, MPH, or schedule one online.
Strep throat is an infection of the throat and tonsils, caused by bacteria called Streptococcus pyogenes. Strep throat is most common among children, but can affect you at any age. Strep throat causes your throat to feel sore and scratchy, and when left untreated, it can lead to dangerous complications over time, including kidney inflammation and rheumatic fever.
Some of the most common signs of strep throat include:
Though many forms of bacterial and viral infection can cause similar symptoms, strep throat can be easily identified by a test performed by your doctor when you visit Monrovia Internal Medicine & Primary Care.
When you visit Monrovia Internal Medicine & Primary Care with symptoms of strep throat, there are two simple tests that can confirm the presence of streptococcus bacteria. The first is the rapid antigen test, which uses a simple throat swab to detect the presence of bacteria and other substances that indicate strep throat. This test can offer almost immediate results, but can sometimes offer false negatives. If you test negative for strep in a rapid antigen test, but you still seem to have the symptoms, a throat culture may be used to investigate further.
The other option, a throat culture, takes a sample from the back of your throat, and is sent to a lab to get results. This swab is completely painless, but can sometimes trigger your gag reflex. In a matter of several days, your results will be available.
Strep throat can be treated with simple antibiotics. Once you start treatment, symptoms should subside within a matter of days, and you won’t be contagious within about 24 hours. Over-the-counter pain relievers like ibuprofen and acetaminophen can help relieve fever and the pain from your throat as the antibiotics take effect.
If you or your child has symptoms of strep throat, or if you have any questions, call the practice today, or make an appointment online.