Last week was a real pain in the throat for kids in Central Florida. Area Centra Care locations reported that viral Pharyngitis is What’s Going Around. Pharyngitis is a common medical condition that can be caused by viruses or the streptococcus bacteria, also known as strep throat.
The following Centra Care locations showed the most dramatic increases in pediatric sore throat cases:
Since the symptoms of strep throat and viral sore throats are the same, a doctor will often swab your throat to determine if you will need an antibiotic. If it’s viral in nature, you won’t need an antibiotic, since antibiotics do not kill viruses.
But there are some things that can help reduce the pain:
- Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of fluids including warm fluids like herbal teas
- Gargle with salt-water
- Take over-the-counter pain medications like acetaminophen or ibuprofen
- Try over-the-counter throat sprays or lozenges
Symptoms of strep usually begin suddenly. The sore throat can range from mild to severe and may be accompanied by other symptoms including:
- 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
Strep is contagious so be cautious of sharing food or drink, and remember to wash your hands often.
See a doctor if you have a fever over 101 degrees.