Prevention Of Strep Throat
Strep throat is highly contagious. When people with the infection cough or sneeze, they spread the bacteria through airborne droplets. You can get strep throat by touching surfaces that carry the bacteria, like door handles, and then transferring this bacteria to your eyes, nose, or mouth, warns the Mayo Clinic.
To stay healthy, the CDC advises you wash your hands and your childs hands regularly, particularly after coughing or sneezing and before you prepare food or eat. Carry a bottle of hand sanitizer with you to kill bacteria when youre on the go. You should also wash glasses, utensils, and plates after someone who is sick uses them, says the CDC.
If you are sick, taking antibiotics prescribed by your doctor reduces the risk of transmission, notes the CDC.
We know that it takes about 24 hours of antibiotics before you cannot transmit strep anymore, so be especially careful during that period of time, says Rajapakse. In practice, this means staying home from school, day care, or work until you no longer pose a risk to others, per the CDC.
While you are contagious, remember to cover your mouth when you sneeze or cough, wash your hands frequently, and avoid kissing.
How Is Strep Throat Treated
Strep throat is usually treated with antibiotics. Since it is a bacterial infection, it will not run its course like viral illnesses. Left untreated, streptococcal bacteria can cause inflammation of the kidneys, scarlet fever, rheumatic fever and a specific type of arthritis. Symptoms can be alleviated some with over-the-counter pain relievers, eating soft foods, gargling with warm, salty water several times a day, and getting lots of rest. In cases in which very young children have contracted strep throat, or if throat pain is so severe that eating and drinking are not possible, a visit to the hospital may be necessary so fluids can be given intravenously and your child can be monitored. Recurring strep throat may be treated with a tonsillectomy, which is a simple outpatient procedure to remove the tonsils and adenoids.
Common Infections And Your Child
It may seem like your child is always sick. Thats because young children are exposed to many new germs and havent yet built up enough defenses against them. Most young children will have 8 to 10 colds a year. The good news is that most of these infections are mild and wont last very long. As children get older, they get sick less often.
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How Can You Tell If Your Child Has Strep Throat
Strep throat can happen to anyone – at any age. It’s most common, however, among children between the ages of 5 and 15. But with all the things that your child comes home with from time to time, how can you tell whether this time you’re dealing with strep throat or just another garden-variety sore throat?
We can help you understand the early signs and symptoms of strep so you know when to take action and when it’s probably safe to treat your child at home. Here’s what you need to look for.
What Strep Throat Isnt
Itâs easy to confuse it with other conditions, so it helps to know what itâs not:
Itâs not a virus — viruses canât be cured with antibiotics.
Itâs not life-threatening. But if you leave it untreated, strep throat can lead to more serious complications in some cases.
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How To Deal With Recurring Strep Throat
1. Wait to Grow Out Naturally
There have been numerous observational studies showing that children naturally experience a decrease in strep throat infections over the course of time. In fact, without severe symptoms, this is so common that tonsillectomies are rarely recommended for just a throat infection.
2. Turn to Antibiotics
Antibiotics for strep throat not only can help to prevent strep throat in healthy people, but also works to shorten the duration of the disease by around 16 hours.In some cases, however, antibiotics won’t make sense since they kill beneficial bacteria as well as those that cause strep, increasing the risk of fungal or viral infections.
3. Take the Right Antibiotics
There are many different antibiotics used to treat recurring strep throat. It is quite essential to take the right antibiotics.
4. Self-Care Tips
If your child has recurring strep throat, there are some simple things you should do to support your kid.
- Always make sure that you do have a strep throat. Don’t take antibiotics if your doctor simply says it looks bad but doesn’t test for strep throat using a swab.
- Take the entire dose of medication, even if the symptoms are gone. Make a chart or set an alarm if you have to.
- Change your child’s toothbrush when your child is halfway done with their course of antibiotics. An alternative is to put the toothbrush in the dishwasher.
- Practice routine hygiene, such as washing your hands frequently.
- Be patient and wait for him to get better.
What Are The Symptoms Of Strep Throat
The primary symptom of strep throat is a sore, scratchy throat. However, this is typically not mild in nature. Most strep throat pain is severe. The illness is almost always accompanied by a high fever, and it can also result in body aches, headaches, or nausea and vomiting. Nausea is more common in children than adults who contract the illness. Strep throat is also indicated by swollen lymph nodes in the neck and red or white patches on the back of the throat or tonsils.
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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.
Strep Throat: All You Need To Know
Worried your sore throat may be strep throat? Strep throat is a common type of sore throat in children, but its not very common in adults. Doctors can do a quick test to see if a sore throat is strep throat. If so, antibiotics can help you feel better faster and prevent spreading it to others.
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How Is Explosive Diarrhea Treated
Your doctor will often want to take a stool sample to try to determine what’s behind your diarrhea, Dr. Gorwana says. Given that it can take time to get test results back, Dr. Staller says that many doctors will prescribe an antibiotic, just in case.
As for whether you should use an OTC anti-diarrheal medication like Imodium, Dr. Staller says that it may actually work against you in the long run. “The worry is that you may keep the infection inside,” he says. If you’re having “average diarrhea,” a medication like Imodium is fine, he suggests. But if you’re having more severe symptoms like a fever and bloody poop, you actually won’t want to take one of these medications, he says.
At home, it’s best to make sure you’re taking care of yourself while you recover. “Hydration and a bland diet is important,” Dr. Gorwana says.
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When Should I Call My Doctor
If your child shows any of the following signs:
- Fever and is less than 6 months old.
- Fever for more than 72 hours.
- Coughing that wont go away or is severe and causes choking or vomiting.
- Wont stop crying or is very irritable all the time.
- Rapid or difficulty breathing.
- Diarrhea and is younger than 6 months old.
- Bloody or black stools.
- Vomiting for more than 4-6 hours.
- Dehydration .
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Can Tonsillitis Give You Diarrhea
Diarrhea is a watery, loose, and more frequent bowel movement problem that causes dehydration and weakness. Sometimes, both tonsillitis and Diarrhea, are not considered an illness, but these can be symptoms of some other diseases. For example, if a person is suffering from fever, there are chances that he/she may experience tonsillitis and Diarrhea.
When To Call The Doctor
No matter the source, stomachaches should be taken seriously. Not all aches require a doctors appointment, but here are some signs from the AAP that medical attention is necessary:
- Abdominal pain that comes on suddenly or persists
- The child has other symptoms, such as a change in his bowel pattern, vomiting, fever , sore throat or headache
- A baby younger than 1 year shows signs of stomach pain such as legs pulled up toward the abdomen or unusual crying
- A child aged 4 or younger has recurrent stomachache
- If abdominal pain awakes a child or stops him from sleeping
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What Is The Treatment For Strep Throat Or Covid
Strep Throat Treatment
If antibiotics are prescribed, take the entire dose as prescribed, even if you feel better before you have finished all the medication.
If a person tests positive for strep throat but has no symptoms treatment is usually not needed.
There is no specific treatment for COVID-19, and supportive care is aimed at relieving symptoms in mild cases.
In mild cases, staying home and self-isolating for 14 days is recommended to avoid spreading the virus. Treatments for mild COVID-19 symptoms include:
- Pain relievers
- Adequate fluid intake
Casirivimab/imdevimab , a monoclonal antibody combination, has received Emergency Use Authorization from the Food and Drug Administration to treat mild-to-moderate COVID-19 in adult and pediatric patients 12 years and older who are at high risk for progressing to severe COVID-19 and/or hospitalization.
Regen-COV is effective against the Delta variant of COVID, but it has been shown to be less effective against the Omicron variant.
Tixagevimab/cilgavimab , a monoclonal antibody combination, has received Emergency Use Authorization from the Food and Drug Administration for the pre-exposure prevention of COVID-19 in certain adults and pediatric individuals .
Monoclonal antibodies are not indicated for use in severe cases.
Strep Throat Causes And Risk Factors
The group A strep bacteria that causes strep throat is highly contagious. It can live in your nose and throat without causing illness. It spreads through contact after an infected person coughs or sneezes. If you touch your mouth, nose or eyes after touching something that has the bacteria on it, you may develop strep throat. Drinking from the same glass, eating from the same plate as a sick person, or even touching sores on the skin that are caused by group A strep, can all spread the bacteria.
Children aged 5 to 15 years are much more likely to have strep infections than are younger children and adults. Researchers suggest that this should be remembered when treating sore throats, as only a small portion of people with sore throats actually have bacterial infections. According to the Institute for Clinical Systems Improvement, viruses cause 85 to 95 percent of throat infections in adults and children younger than 5 years of age for those aged 5 to 15 years, viruses cause about 70 percent of throat infections, with the other 30 percent due to bacterial infections, mostly group A strep.
Although strep throat can occur at anytime, it tends to circulate from late fall to early spring. This is most likely due to the seasonal variation of strep bacteria concentration and because people tend to be in closer quarters during the colder seasons.
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Research And Statistics: How Many People Get Strep Throat
The CDC estimates that there are several million cases of strep throat and other diseases associated with Group A streptococcus bacteria in the United States each year.
Per the CDC, out of these millions of cases, between 11,000 and 24,000 are invasive infections, meaning that the bacteria has spread to areas like the inner skin layers, blood, and lungs.
Worldwide, strep throat affects more than 616 million people each year, according to an article published in September 2019 in Clinical Infectious Diseases.
Signs And Symptoms Of Strep Throat
Symptoms of strep throat include the following, per the Mayo Clinic:
- Sore throat
- White patches in the back of your throat
- Skin rash
Many of these symptoms overlap with those of a viral infection. If you have any of these symptoms along with a runny nose or a cough, its more likely to be a viral infection such as a common cold, according to the Cleveland Clinic. There can also be overlap between symptoms of a strep throat and those of COVID-19, which is caused by a type of coronavirus.
When you experience a sore throat due to a cold, it often gets better or goes away after a day or two. With strep, the sore throat persists and is often more severe, notes UPMC. According to the CDC, bronchitis , a lower respiratory infection caused by cold and flu viruses, can often be accompanied by a sore throat as well.
If youre not sure whats causing your symptoms, its best to see your doctor for a diagnosis.
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What Can I Do If My Child Is Sick
Do not give OTC medications to babies and children under 6 years old without first talking to your doctor.
When your child is sick, you want them to feel better. Many parents turn to over-the-counter cough and cold medicines for help. There is no proof that these medications work. In fact, some of the side effects can make your child feel even worse. The only exceptions are drugs used to treat fever .
However, medication is not always needed to reduce a childs temperature. Talk to your doctor if your baby has a fever.
There is also a risk of giving your child too much medication. For example, giving acetaminophen for a fever on top of a cough syrup that already contains acetaminophen may result in an overdose of acetaminophen. Never use more than one product at the same time unless advised by your doctor.
Is Strep Throat Contagious
Strep throat is a contagious illness that is spread from person-to-person. It is usually transmitted by close contact with the saliva or nasal secretions from an infected individual, typically in the form of airborne respiratory droplets. For this reason, it is frequently seen in situations where individuals are in close proximity to each other, as in schools, college campuses, military barracks, day care centers, and family households.
Food-borne outbreaks leading to strep throat are a very uncommon mode of transmission.
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Natural Treatments For Strep Throat Symptoms
So what are the best natural treatments for the symptoms of strep throat?
1. Elderberry Elderberry has antibacterial and antiviral effects. Recent studies show that elderberry has a protective effect against the development of bacterial and viral respiratory symptoms.
2. Echinacea The regular use of echinacea benefits the immune system and your overall health. There is considerable evidence suggesting that the phytochemicals in echinacea, and one of its compounds called echinacein, have the capacity to inhibit bacteria and viruses from penetrating healthy cells.
3. Vitamin C Use vitamin C to boost your immune system and repair tissue damage in the throat.
4. Vitamin D Studies show that theres a link between vitamin D deficiency and the recurrence of group A strep throat.
5. Raw Honey A daily dose of raw honey raises levels of health-promoting antioxidants in the body, which help block free radicals and boosts the immune system.
6. Himalayan Salt Gargling with pink Himalayan salt water helps to reduce swelling and creates an inhospitable environment for bacteria in your throat.
7. Bone Broth Bone broth helps to keep you hydrated and it delivers minerals that are essential for boosting your immune system. Instead of spending hours making bone broth from scratch, use protein powder made from bone broth.
Protect Yourself And Others
People can get strep throat more than once. Having strep throat does not protect someone from getting it again in the future. While there is no vaccine to prevent strep throat, there are things people can do to protect themselves and others.
Good Hygiene Helps Prevent Group A Strep Infections
The best way to keep from getting or spreading group A strep is to wash your hands often. This is especially important after coughing or sneezing and before preparing foods or eating. To practice good hygiene, you should:
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze
- Put your used tissue in the waste basket
- Cough or sneeze into your upper sleeve or elbow, not your hands, if you dont have a tissue
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds
- Use an alcohol-based hand rub if soap and water are not available
You should also wash glasses, utensils, and plates after someone who is sick uses them. These items are safe for others to use once washed.
Wash your hands often to help prevent germs from spreading.
Antibiotics Help Prevent Spreading the Infection to Others
People with strep throat should stay home from work, school, or daycare until they:
- No longer have a fever
- Have taken antibiotics for at least 12 hours
Take the prescription exactly as the doctor says to. Dont stop taking the medicine, even if you or your child feel better, unless the doctor says to stop.
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