Encyclopedia

Streptococcal pharyngitis

What is strep throat?

Streptococcal pharyngitis is a contagious disease caused by infection with streptococcal bacteria. Symptoms of the clinical condition are usually high fever, sore throat, swollen lymph nodes in the neck, and redness and swelling of the throat and tonsils. White and yellow spots on the tonsils also often appear. The symptoms of streptococcal pharyngitis can be mild or more pronounced.

The disease is most common in school-aged children and teenagers, with the highest incidence between 5 and 15 years of age. It is estimated that approximately 15% to 40% of cases of strep throat are caused by the bacteria Streptococcus sp.

Adults can also develop the infection, although this is less common. The disease manifests itself most often in the period from late autumn to early spring. It is more prevalent during the school year when large groups of students are present in an enclosed space.

Although strep is the most common cause of bacterial throat infection. It is important to note that most cases of sore throat are due to a viral infection /caused by a virus/.

And viral infections get better on their own and do not need antibiotic treatment. But it is important to diagnose the presence of a streptococcal infection in the throat to prevent potential complications.

What are the causes?

It is caused by an infection with group A streptococcus and specifically Streptococcuspyogenes. Streptococcal infection affects the pharyngeal tissue and causes a localized inflammatory reaction.

These bacteria are often found in the throat or on the skin and cause other diseases as well as impetigo /skin infection/. Some people carry group A strep on the skin or in the throat and show no signs or symptoms of the disease

Is strep throat contagious?

A strep throat infection is a contagious disease that is spread through close contact with the saliva or nasal secretions of an infected person, usually in the form of airborne droplets.

For this reason, infection most often develops when people are in close proximity to each other, such as in schools, universities and households. A very rare outbreak of streptococcal infection can be a certain food.

Treatment of streptococcal pharyngitis at home

In most cases, the treatment of the infection can also be carried out at home, as complications are extremely rare:

  • Drink plenty of fluids to avoid dehydration. A fever can increase fluid loss, and painful swallowing can unconsciously discourage you from drinking fluids. Therefore, you must take measures to prevent dehydration. You can drink warm broths that are salty and that way you won’t lose water. Solutions containing sugar are also helpful because they help the body absorb fluids more quickly. Avoid caffeine because it can cause the body to lose some of its water. Sometimes cold drinks and ice cream can improve the affected person’s condition.
  • Gargling with salt water is also helpful – put about 1 to 2 teaspoons in a glass of warm water.
  • Adequate rest and good sleep will speed up recovery.
  • Licorice herbal tea will greatly relieve sore throats.
  • Pain relievers such as paracetamol and ibuprofen are effective in reducing fever and controlling pain.

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