What is Strep throat?
Strep throat and Scarlet fever (a rash that sometimes accompanies strep throat) are caused by the beta hemolytic streptococcus, type A bacteria. The organisms are spread by contact with secretions from the mouth and nose of infected persons. The incubation is short, usually 2 to 5 days. Infected persons are considered contagious until 24 hours after antibiotic treatment is begun.
What are the signs and symptoms or strep throat?
The signs and symptoms include sore throat, fever, swollen glands under the jaw and in the neck, and pus pockets on the tonsils. Vomiting and stomach pain may also occur. Additionally, with scarlet fever there is a fine, red, sandpapery skin rash.
What should I do if I think my child has strep throat?
If a sore throat is suspected, if would be recommended to go ahead and seek medical care. A throat culture will be done to determine the diagnosis. If the culture is positive, a ten-day course of an antibiotic, is prescribed. The child should be out of school until 24 hours of antibiotic therapy is received and condition improved to return to school. If the culture is negative, the cause is probably viral and the treatment is warm salt water gargles, force fluids, rest, and Tylenol.
Can strep throat be prevented?
YES! Frequent handwashing, plenty of rest, and adequate diet will to go far to protect your child against strep throat and other germs which tend to be more prevalent this time of year. Be careful not to share cups or utensils that can also lead to the spread of germs.
If you have any further questions, please contact your family physician or the school nurse.