Having a sore throat is something that’s painful, annoying, and can even get in the way of your daily routine. There’s a difference between your average sore throat and a sore throat caused by strep throat. If you’re suffering from or have suffered from strep throat, you’re probably wondering how you got it in the first place!
What is Strep Throat?
Strep throat is a bacterial infection that causes sudden onset throat pain and soreness. Strep throat can make it difficult to swallow and bring visible red or white patches to the back of your throat and tonsils. Many patients also report a fever, body aches, and tender lymph nodes.
Strep throat is most common in school age children, but it can be spread to anyone. Strep throat is caused by a highly contagious bacteria that thrives in places that have many people in close proximity. The bacteria can be spread through the air when a sick person coughs or sneezes, from surfaces, or through direct contact from one person to another.
There is no vaccine or surefire way to prevent strep throat, but knowledge is key! The best way to help prevent the spread of strep throat is to remain vigilant, especially during the winter and spring time when it’s more common. Good hand hygiene is very important too since you can catch strep throat simply by touching a surface that an infected person has touched. Wash your hands regularly and avoid touching your nose, mouth, or eyes when you’re out in public spaces. You should wash your hands for as long as it takes to sing the ‘Happy Birthday’ song twice over and dry them with clean paper towels or a blow dryer.
If you don’t have access to wash your hands throughout the day, hand sanitizer is a great tool to use! Remind those around you to always cough and sneeze into the corner of their arm, not the palms of their hands. People suffering from strep throat should stay home from work or school until cleared by their physician after they begin antibiotics.
If you believe you’re suffering from strep throat, it’s important to get treatment right away. Visit your local urgent care center for care that’s affordable, close to home, and available on a schedule that works for you! Strep throat requires medical attention to heal. Home remedies might relieve certain symptoms, but the infection won’t be cleared without prescription antibiotics.