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Streptococcus Throat Infections

By: Jo Johnson - Updated: 20 Sep 2012 | comments*Discuss
Throat Throat Infection Streptococcus

Streptococcus throat infections are infections of the throat that is caused by bacteria called streptococcus A and is commonly called a strep throat or streptococcus pharyngitis.Although the condition can affect adults, it is most commonly seen in children, especially those under the age of seven.

What Exactly Is A Strep Throat?

Most throat infections are caused by a virus which results in a sore throat as the virus attacks the tissues. These are common and will heal in time. More serious throat infections caused by bacterial origins will usually need medication as the body may not be able to fight it using its own immune system.

Streptococcus throat infections are caused by bacteria from the streptococcal group that are very common and easily spread between people. Most of the time we can live quite happily with streptococcal bacteria in our body but one particular form called haemolytic streptococci can cause illness and infections, commonly of the throat and ear.

What Are The Symptoms?

The symptoms of strep throat can be quite nasty. The pain associated with the condition can be extremely bad and leave the individual unable to swallow of sometimes speak.

In very young children, the sore throat is often accompanied with a particularly bad cold with excessive mucous draining from the nose or down the throat.

It is common to experience an increase in body temperature and feeling under the weather and more tired as the body tries to fight the infection and inflammation.

In some cases white pus patches can appear in the throat, often on or around the tonsils.

How Is It Treated?

Whilst the body may be able to fight off a strep throat infection without help, most people benefit from the use of anti-biotics.Getting plenty of rest and drinking plenty of fluids will help, though if swallowing is particularly troublesome, try ice lollies, ice cream, soup or milkshakes as these may be easier to swallow and the coolness of ice cream or lollies can help.

If you have a temperature, take paracetamol or similar medicine which also serves as a method of pain relief.If you have a cold try and get rid of all excess mucous by blowing the nose or spitting out phlegm and refrain from swallowing the mucous as this may prolong your symptoms.

Is It Dangerous?

Strep throat should be treated with anti-biotics, although it is possible that the body will heal itself, this can take several days whereas anti-biotics will work straight away.

If the infection is allowed to develop and left without treatment the infection can spread and it is possible to develop scarlet fever leading to rheumatic fever which can be very serious, though it is rare nowadays.

As it is most often seen in children, any symptoms that last longer than a few days, cause an inability to swallow or the swelling causes the airway to become obstructed should be seen by a doctor as a prescription will be needed.

Streptococcal throat infections are caused by a bacterial infection and are common in children. They frequently need anti-biotic therapy though some people can fight the infection independently.

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