Besides leading to serious complications if left untreated, a person with Strep can remain contagious for upwards of three weeks!
Last week, cases of Strep increased in adults and children, with the little ones showing an 83% jump.
A Strep infection is easily spread by person-to-person contact with nasal secretions or saliva. It usually takes 2 to 5 days after being exposed to the bacteria for symptoms of Strep to appear.
Symptoms begin suddenly. The sore throat can range from mild to severe and may be accompanied by other symptoms including:
• Difficulty swallowing
• General discomfort or ill feeling
• Loss of appetite
• Tender, swollen lymph nodes in the neck
• Red throat, sometimes with white patches
How do you know if your sore throat is doctor visit-worthy? According to the CDC, you should seek medical care if you or your child experiences any of these symptoms:
• A sore throat that lasts longer than 1 week
• Difficulty swallowing or breathing
• Temperature higher than 100.4° F
• 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. Treatment with antibiotics not only clears the infection, but also helps to reduce complications.