Strep Throat

Strep throat is an infection caused by the streptococcus pyogenes bacteria. It's unlikely for an infant to get strep throat, as they would have been given a natural immunity from their mother at birth; the infection is more common in children over three years of age.

 

Symptoms of Strep Throat

Common symptoms of strep throat in children:

  • Sore throat
  • Abdominal pain
  • Bright red rash
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Aches and pains
  • Loss of appetite
  • Swollen tonsils
  • White pus on tonsils
  • Swollen glands
  • Loss of energy

If left untreated, the bacteria grows stronger and can cause pneumonia, tonsillitis, kidney failure or rheumatic fever.

Diagnosis and Treatment of Strep Throat

Your child's physician may administer a rapid-strep test, which detects the bacteria that causes the infection in about 10 minutes. These tests, however, are not 100 percent accurate. If your physician suspects that the test is not accurate, he may send a culture out to a laboratory to be tested more extensively. What this means is that a culture will be given time to grow and it will take at least 24 hours before results are available.

If either of the tests come back positive, your child has strep throat. Antibiotics will then be prescribed to clear up the illness.

Is Strep Throat Contagious?

This infection is extremely contagious and children who have contracted it should be kept home for at least 24 hours after taking the first dose of antibiotics. Be sure all of the medicine is taken as prescribed, to prevent your child from having the infection return as a stronger, more resistant form of strep that may lead to more serious complications.

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