Management Of Recurrent Gabhs Pharyngitis
RADT is effective for diagnosing recurrent GABHS infection. In patients treated within the preceding 28 days, RADT has similar specificity and higher sensitivity than in patients without previous streptococcal infection .38 Recurrence of GABHS pharyngitis within one month may be treated using the antibiotics listed in Table 3.2,1720,2834 Intramuscular penicillin G injection is an option when oral antibiotics were initially prescribed.
Can Strep Throat Be Prevented
The following suggestions may help you prevent the spread of your strep infection to others:
- Avoid close contact with other people until you have been taking the antibiotic for at least 24 hours and you feel well.
- Use tissues when you cough and dispose of them carefully.
- Hand washing is the best method of prevention. Wash your hands before you touch food, dishes, glasses, silverware, napkins, etc.
- Wash your hands after you cough and before you touch certain things, like food, dishes, glasses, silverware or napkins.
- Use paper cups, or separate cups, and paper towels in bathrooms instead of shared drinking cups and hand towels.
- Do not share food and eating utensils with others.
- Do not prepare food for others if you have strep throat.
People with strep throat should not go to childcare, preschool, school or work until they are no longer contagious.
Antibiotics Get You Well Fast
Doctors treat strep throat with antibiotics. Either penicillin or amoxicillin are recommended as a first choice for people who are not allergic to penicillin. Doctors can use other antibiotics to treat strep throat in people who are allergic to penicillin.
Benefits of antibiotics include:
- Preventing the bacteria from spreading to others
- Preventing serious complications like rheumatic fever
Someone who tests positive for strep throat but has no symptoms usually does not need antibiotics. They are less likely to spread the bacteria to others and very unlikely to get complications. If a carrier gets a sore throat illness caused by a virus, the rapid strep test can be positive. In these cases it can be hard to know what is causing the sore throat. If someone keeps getting a sore throat after taking the right antibiotics, they may be a strep carrier and have a viral throat infection. Talk to a doctor if you think you or your child may be a strep carrier.
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Other Sore Throats Don’t Need Special Medicine So Why Does Strep Throat
Most sore throats are caused by viruses, which cannot be cured with medicine you can only relieve the aches and pains. Viruses heal on their own and cannot be cured with antibiotics or other medicines.
Strep throat is caused by a bacterium. Infections caused by bacteria can be treated with antibiotics. Strep throat can lead to more serious illnesses, so it’s important to get it treated.
Home Remedies For Strep Throat Symptoms
The scratchy, burning pain of a sore throat can make life miserable. From sipping water to answering the phone, everyday tasks are suddenly painful challenges.
While its common to think you may have strep throat, the bacterial infection can only be diagnosed by a throat swab test.
If you test positive for strep, its important to take any prescribed medications, including antibiotics, as not doing so can lead to serious health complications such as rheumatic fever or heart murmurs.
It usually takes only a day or two after starting antibiotics to feel better, but in the meantime, there are some things you can do to help ease the symptoms, including some quick and easy home remedies for strep throat.
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How To Know When Antibiotics Are Necessary
Strep throat is common in children because its easily spread through a sneeze, cough, or sharing food, among other ways. Watch out for these symptoms:
- A fever
- Sore throat that causes pain when swallowing
- Swollen tonsils with pus
- Absence of cough
- Swollen lymph nodes
Some children may feel nauseated, have a headache or a stomachache, or vomit. A number of children with these symptoms may have scarlet fever, a fever accompanied by a rash.
Doctors have to be selective about testing for strep throat, says Shulman. Strep throat is not diagnosed just by symptoms: There are two tests used to confirm it. The doctor or medical professional takes a throat swab, called a rapid strep test, or a throat culture. If the test comes back positive for the bacteria, then the doctor will usually prescribe an antibiotic.
But strep throat is a self-limited disease that will go away on its own, says Shulman. Antibiotics are not prescribed to treat strep itself, but to prevent serious complications, such as rheumatic fever. Also, after the initial 24 hours of taking antibiotics, people can go back to work or school because theyre not considered contagious anymore, though their symptoms may take a little longer to subside.
Patients should actually ask if they really need to take an antibiotic, says Waldetoft. Over here we are very concerned with antibiotic resistance and try to use narrow spectrum antibiotics whenever we can.
When To See A Doctor
Speak with a provider as soon as you or your child are experiencing any symptoms of strep throat.
If your provider confirms the diagnosis, they can prescribe the right antibiotic prescription to clear the infection.
If youre still feeling unwell two days after starting the medication, let your provider know.
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How Common Is Invasive Group A Streptococcal Disease
Approximately 9,000-11,500 cases of invasive GAS disease occur in the United States each year resulting in 1,000-1,800 deaths. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that less than 10% of these are cases of necrotizing fasciitis and STSS. In contrast, there are several million cases of strep throat and impetigo annually. Clusters of cases or outbreaks of invasive GAS have not been reported in any schools or communities in New York State.
Did The Patient Finish The Prescribed Antibiotic
Patients often do not finish the complete treatment of antibiotics. The symptoms of strep throat end quickly with antibiotics patients feel completely better within two to three days after beginning treatment. Because of this improved well being, parent motivation to continue the medicine diminishes.
Studies from hospital-based clinics and private practices have confirmed that as many as 50% of patients have stopped taking penicillin for strep throat by the third day, 70% by the sixth day, and over 80% by the ninth day. In the same populations, over 80% of the families claimed that all of the prescribed medicine had been taken.
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Remedies And Treatments For Strep
Once you’re diagnosed, your doctor will prescribe a course of antibiotics to destroy the bacteria that caused the infection. That usually takes 24 to 48 hours. In the meantime, these home remedies for strep throat can alleviate your symptoms:
Rest and Sleep
When you’re sick, your body needs rest and sleep to fight the infection. Stay home from work, or if your child is sick, keep them home from school. Strep is easily spread and remains contagious until you’ve taken an antibiotic for 24 hours and no longer have a fever.
Drink plenty of water and clear fluids to keep your body hydrated. Keep the throat moist to alleviate pain when swallowing.
Eat Soft and Soothing Food
Soup, applesauce, oatmeal, mashed potatoes, yogurt, or a smoothie are good options. The list is endless, as long as the food is soft and easy to swallow. Cold foods like ice cream or popsicles help soothe your sore throat. Stay away from spicy foods or acidic fruits like oranges.
Turn on a Humidifier
Breathing moist air can relieve discomfort. Cool-mist humidifiers are best, but be sure to clean them daily to prevent mold and bacteria from building up. A nasal saline spray helps too.
Gargle With Salt Water
Add 1/4 teaspoon of salt into eight ounces of warm water. Take a sip, lift your head back, and gargle the mixture in your throat to relieve pain. Remind your kids to spit out the water instead of swallowing it.
Related Resources For Strep Throat
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This article is not medical advice. It is intended for general informational purposes and is not meant to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your physician or dial 911.
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Are Antibiotics Always Necessary To Treat A Strep Throat
Although most Strep throats will get better by themselves, there is a risk of acute rheumatic fever and other complications occurring. The CDC recommends that all patients, regardless of age, who have a positive rapid antigen detection test or throat culture receive antibiotics.
Antibiotics have been shown to:
- Shorten the duration of Strep throat symptoms
- Reduce the likelihood of transmission to family members, friends, and other close contacts
- Prevent the development of rheumatic fever and other complications.
Viral sore throats should not be treated with antibiotics. Treatment is usually given for ten days and liquid antibiotics can be given to children who are unable to swallow tablets or capsules. Some patients may benefit from a single shot of penicillin intramuscularly.
Symptoms Of Strep Throat Infection
- Pain, discomfort or raw feeling of the throat
- Pain is made worse when swallows
- Children less than 2 years of age usually can’t complain about a sore throat. A young child who does not want favorite foods may have a sore throat. They may also start to cry during feedings.
- Other symptoms include sore throat, fever, headache, stomach pain, nausea and vomiting.
- Cough, hoarseness, red eyes, and runny nose are not seen with Strep throat. These symptoms point more to a viral cause.
- Scarlet fever rash is highly suggestive of Strep throat.
- If you look at the throat with a light, it will be bright red. The tonsil will be red and swollen, often covered with pus.
- Peak age: 5 to 15 years old. Not common under 2 years old unless sibling has Strep.
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Should Contacts Of Individuals With Invasive Group A Streptococcal Disease Be Tested And Treated
The risk of secondary cases of invasive GAS disease among persons with casual contact to a case is very small. However, there are occasional reports of close contacts such as family members developing severe disease. In general, it is not necessary for all persons exposed to someone with an invasive group A streptococcal infection to be tested or receive preventive antibiotics. If household contacts are in good health, they should be watched for signs of GAS infection, but will not need to take preventive antibiotics. However, those who are at higher risk of invasive disease if infected should discuss the benefit of preventive antibiotics with their healthcare provider.
How Can You Tell If You Have Strep Throat
The only way to diagnose strep throat is with a throat swab. Your healthcare provider will rub the back of your throat with a medical swab that looks like a long Q-tip. A rapid strep test or a throat culture can look for the streptococcus bacteria on the swab.
But how can you tell if its worth going to get a strep test in the first place? Your symptoms will give you an important clue.
When sore throats are caused by viruses, people usually experience some or all of the following:
Daycare center workers
Healthcare providers who work with children
If you have symptoms that are more consistent with strep throat or if you are at risk of having strep throat because of your age or job you should see a healthcare provider for a strep test. If you arent sure about your symptoms or risk, its better to see a healthcare provider and have a strep test done. This is especially important for children and teens, as they are more likely to develop complications from strep throat.
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How Can I Get Better
If you have strep throat, your doctor will give you an antibiotic, a medicine that kills bacteria. To make sure the bacteria go away completely and don’t spread to other parts of your body, you must finish all of the medicine. Your doctor will have you take the pills or liquid for 10 days.
It’s really important to take all 10 days of the medicine to make sure all the bad bacteria are gone. If you don’t, you could get sick all over again.
Your mom or dad may give you acetaminophen to get rid of aches, pains, and fever. You’ll want to have soothing drinks, like tea and warm chicken soup. Frozen foods like ice cream or popsicles also can help to ease throat pain. Avoid spicy and acidic foods, such as orange juice, because they could hurt your tender throat.
Your doctor will tell you to stay home from school until you have been taking the antibiotic for at least 24 hours. This way, you won’t spread the bacteria to others.
How Is Strep Throat Diagnosed
If you have a sore throat accompanied by fever for more than two days, you should visit a doctor. At your doctors visit, you may be asked questions such as:
- How long have you had your symptoms?
- Have you recently been exposed to strep throat?
- Does anything relieve your symptoms?
- Do you have any other medical conditions?
During the appointment, your doctor will likely examine you by taking your temperature, feeling your neck for swollen lymph nodes, and visually inspecting your throat. Based on this examination, your doctor may run one of two tests to check for sore throat:
- A rapid antigen test or rapid strep test may be administered if strep throat is suspected. During this test, your doctor will swab the back of your throat for a sample. The antigen test can detect strep bacteria within a few minutes, but it is an imperfect test. If the test comes back negative, but your doctor suspects strep, he or she may perform a throat culture.
- Throat cultures are done by taking a swab of the back of the throat and then sending it for culture in a laboratory. This test can take up to two days, whereas the rapid antigen test only takes minutes.
Based on the results of the strep test your doctor may write you a prescription for antibiotics. During this appointment, you should ask any questions you may have, including:
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Has Prior Antibiotic Therapy Eliminated Protective Throat Bacteria
Prominent, normal bacteria of the throat include another type of streptococci . These bacteria make natural antibiotic substances in the throat. Penicillin or amoxicillin therapy may change the natural environment for throat bacteria by killing these alpha hemolytic streptococci their elimination provides an opportunity for disease-causing strep to gain access to the throat cells. This is another reason for patients to avoid unnecessary antibiotic use.
Talk With Your Doctor
If you have strep throat, your doctor will prescribe the antibiotic they think is most appropriate for you. In most cases, this would be penicillin or amoxicillin. However, some people are prescribed a Z-Pack or generic azithromycin.
If you have further questions about either medication, be sure to ask your doctor. Your questions might include:
- Is this the best drug to treat my strep throat?
- Am I allergic to penicillin or amoxicillin? If so, are there any other drugs I should avoid?
- What should I do if my throat still hurts after I finish my medication?
- What can I do to relieve my sore throat while I wait for the antibiotic to work?
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Can You Get Strep Throat While On Antibiotics
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My Daughters Experience With Untreated Strep Throat
Recently, my preteen daughter came down with strep. She is my youngest child, and this was the first time any of my three children had ever had strep throat.
Given that she is healthy with no underlying health issues, my husband and I decided to ride it out. We treated her with natural antibiotics only.
She recovered completely within 48 hours. In fact, the white spots on her throat disappeared in less than 12 hours once we started treatments. We used garlic, raw manuka honey, and turmeric several times a day.
It will be interesting to see if she ever gets strep throat again. My bet is that she wont. She will likely develop partial or total lifelong immunity just like I did when I recovered at age 15 from untreated strep.
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Are Strep Throats Contagious
Yes, Strep throats are contagious, and the bacteria are easily transmitted and spread by coughing or sneezing or after coming into contact with infected droplets, and then touching your mouth, nose, or eyes. Transmission of bacteria can also occur via contact with people with Scarlet fever, or other group A skin infections.
Without treatment, people with Strep throat can pass on the bacteria to others for one to two weeks after symptoms appear. The best way to prevent infection is to wash your hands often and always before eating or after being in contact with an infected person. Do not share utensils, linen, or personal items. People with Strep throat or scarlet fever should stay home for at least 24 hours after starting antibiotics or until they feel well enough to return to school or work.