Strep throat

Throat | General Practice | Strep throat (Disease)


Strep throat is a bacterial infection of the posterior wall of the pharynx and tonsils. Tissues are irritated and inflamed causing sudden severe pain in the neck.

Strep throat infection is spread from person to person. When a person has a streptococcal infection in the throat, breathing, coughs, sneezes, droplets of saliva containing streptococci, spread in the air and be inspired by others.

The most common symptoms of strep throat in children and adults are: Sore throat, sudden without coughing, sneezing or other signs of cold; Pain and difficulty swallowing; Fever higher than 38. 3 degrees C (less fever suggests a viral infection and not strep); Swollen lymph nodes in the neck; White dots, yellow or as a membrane in the throat and tonsils; Pronounced redness of the throat or dark red dots in the posterior region of the palatal vault, near the throat; Swollen tonsils, although this can be caused by a viral infection. In young, mononucleosis can cause a severe inflammation of the throat similar to that produced by streptococcus.

Causes and Risk factors

Generally, sore throat is caused by a viral infection and not strep. The strep infection does not usually occur, cold symptoms such as coughing, sneezing, watery or runny nose. As there are several symptoms of a cold, much less likely to be sore throat caused by streptococcus.

The risk of strep throat increases if there is direct contact with people who have strep throat, especially children. Size of tonsils in children is not a risk factor for throat infections. Even if children or adults have tonsils removed may develop pharyngitis with streptococcus.

Diagnosis and Treatment

Antibiotics such as penicillin, cephalexin, or amoxicillin are used to treat strep throat. Antibiotics work only against bacterial infections such as strep throat. They will not help sore throats caused by allergies or viral infections such as colds.