Strep Throat is What’s Going Around this week. Because bacteria is to blame, confirmed cases of Strep are most often treated with prescription antibiotics. Besides leading to serious complications, if left untreated, a person with Strep can remain contagious for upwards of three weeks – even if symptoms no longer remain.
Centra Care data shows that the number of Strep cases has been increasing over the past two weeks, which is not common for this time of year. The areas of Central Florida seeing the greatest increases are:
- Altamonte & Sand Lake – up 400%
- Conway – up 300%
Strep Throat affects both children and adults. The infection is easily spread by person-to-person contact with nasal secretions or saliva. It takes 2 – 5 days after being exposed to the bacteria that causes Strep to experience symptoms.
Symptoms of Strep usually begin suddenly. The sore throat can range from mild to severe and may be accompanied by other symptoms including:
- Fever that begins suddenly
- Red throat, sometimes with white patches
- General discomfort or ill feeling
- Loss of appetite
- Tender, swollen lymph nodes in the neck
- Difficulty swallowing
- Stomach ache
So how do you know if your sore throat warrants a trip to the doctor? According to the CDC you should seek medical care if you or your child has:
- A sore throat that lasts longer than 1 week
- Difficulty swallowing or breathing
- Excessive drooling (young children)
- Temperature higher than 100.4° F
- Pus on the back of the throat
- Hoarseness for more than 2 weeks
- Blood in saliva or phlegm
- Symptoms of dehydration
- Recurring sore throats
Only a physician can diagnose Strep by examining you and conducting tests. It’s a myth that white spots in the back of your throat are a positive determination for Strep Throat. Treatment with antibiotics will clear the infection and also help to reduce complications.