08.08.2014

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Strep throat is a bacterial infection of the throat which is also known as streptococcal pharyngitis. Ask a Doctor Online Now!A strep throat is caused by an infection of the throat (pharynx) with with the bacteria known as Streptococcus pyogenes or group A streptococcus (GAS).
Most sore throats are not serious and usually resolve within two or three days to a week, but in case of chronic sore throat beyond this period a consultation with a doctor would be advisable. Strep sore throat is a common bacterial throat infection occurring both in adults and children, but is most commonly seen between the ages of 5 and 15 years. Usually, symptoms such as coughing, sneezing or runny nose are absent unless there is a viral upper respiratory tract infection. However, it is necessary to differentiate between strep throat and other causes of sore throat because some of the symptoms may overlap. Physical examination and a careful history taking is necessary and if characteristic signs like small red spots on the roof of the mouth are present, treatment may be commenced even without further investigation.
Complete blood cell count (CBC) to determine the presence and severity of infection may be done.
Anti-streptolysin O (ASO) titer measures the antibodies produced by the body against the streptococcus bacteria.
Throat culture is where a sample taken from the back of the throat by means of a sterile swab and sent for culture in the laboratory to detect the streptococcus bacteria. Rapid antigen test is a faster procedure to confirm the diagnosis of strep throat but false negative results may occur. The incubation period (the time from exposure to the disease till the development of symptoms) for strep throat may vary from 3 to 5 days. Ask a Doctor Online Now!The contagious period (the period when a person may be capable of infecting others with the disease) for a person suffering from strep throat will continue from his start of illness till 24 hours of starting antibiotics. Once strep throat is diagnosed, antibiotics are usually prescribed for oral administration.
Pain relievers such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen may help to relieve throat pain, headache and fever. In addition, general measures such as adequate rest, plenty of fluids, salt water gargles, throat lozenges, and avoiding foods which irritate the throat may be useful. Tonsillectomy (surgical removal of the tonsils) may be considered in cases of recurrent episodes of strep throat or tonsillitis, or in cases of persistent peri-tonsillar abscess in spite of drainage.


If a strep throat is not treated timeously or adequately, certain complications may develop, the most important of which are rheumatic fever and glomerulonephritis.
Rheumatic fever is a serious complication of untreated or inadequately treated strep throat since it may lead to permanent damage to the heart and the heart valves.
Post-streptococcal glomerulonephritis is inflammation of the kidneys which may occur as a complication of strep throat especially in children under 7 years of age.
Ask a Doctor Online Now!Please note that any information or feedback on this website is not intended to replace a consultation with a health care professional and will not constitute a medical diagnosis. Next, the hard tissue that surrounds the teeth is formed, around three to four months of gestation.
After the child is born, the next stage occurs when the tooth actually protrudes through the gum. Pulp. Soft tissue on the inside of the tooth that contains the nerve and the ability to produce dentin. While every child is different, the primary teeth begin to come in between the ages of six and 12 months.
The first tooth to erupt is usually a middle, front tooth on the lower jaw, known as the central incisor. The above is followed by the first four molars, and the remaining bottom two lateral incisors.
Usually, after the child reaches two years old, the four second molars (the last of the baby teeth) appear. The teeth on the upper jaw usually erupt one to two months after the same tooth on the lower jaw.
Unlike other common infectious causes of a sore throat, a strep throat is highly contagious and if left untreated, it can cause serious and even life-threatening complications.
Untreated strep throat may lead to other complications such as rheumatic fever and glomerulonephritis.
Some people may be asymptomatic carriers who are capable of spreading the infection although they may have no symptoms of the infection.
Strep sore throat needs early treatment with antibiotics so that other complications do not develop, while a viral sore throat may need no treatment at all and will resolve spontaneously.
A number of laboratory tests, including a blood test, throat culture, rapid antigen test, and rapid DNA test, should be considered to identify a strep throat at the earliest possible stage.


The antibodies may not be present in the blood till a few weeks after the infection hence ASO titer is not helpful in diagnosing a strep throat.
Some people are carriers and do not have any symptoms but they may be capable of passing on the disease to others.
Sometimes penicillin injections may be necessary in a young child where vomiting or difficulty swallowing may affect oral administration. Aspirin should not be given to children and young people under the age of 18 because of the risk of developing Reye’s syndrome, which is a potentially life-threatening condition.
Often, adding moisture to the air by means of a humidifier or using saline nasal sprays helps to keep the mucus membrane of the throat moist. However, it usually resolves on its own in a few weeks without causing any permanent kidney damage.
Good nutrition from the mother during pregnancy is important in the development of the teeth. However, its importance lies in the fact that it can help to evaluate the complications of strep throat such as rheumatic fever and glomerulonephritis. In an infected person who is not on antibiotics the contagious period may be up to 3 weeks, even though no symptoms are present. The mother's diet should have adequate amounts of calcium, phosphorus, vitamin C, and vitamin D. However, if teeth fail to come in a year after the expected time, it would be advisable to check with your child's dentist to make sure they are developing properly. Antibiotics also help to contain the spread of infection to others as well as reduce chances of complications. Certain medications, such as tetracycline, should not be taken by the mother while she is pregnant as these can cause discoloration to the developing teeth of the embryo. The last baby tooth is usually lost around the age of 12, and is the cuspid or second molar. The oral antibiotics which are normally given for strep throat are penicillin, amoxicillin, cephalosporin, or azithromycin.



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