Strep Throat

What is Strep Throat?

Strep Throat

Strep throat is an infection caused by the Streptococcus pyogenes (strep) Group A bacteria. The infection is more common in children than in adults.

What are the symptoms of strep throat?
Children with strep throat often have a fever and complain of a sore throat, headache and stomachache. They may also have swollen, tender glands in the neck.

How is strep throat transmitted?
The strep bacteria are found in an infected person's saliva. The infection spreads through the air when the infected person talks, coughs or sneezes. Treating the infected person with an antibiotic can stop the spread of infection.

It is difficult to diagnose strep throat just by looking at the throat. The physician has to take a culture (or swab) of the throat to see if strep bacteria are present. If strep throat is diagnosed, the physician will prescribe an antibiotic. 

What can parents do?

  • If you suspect your child has strep throat, contact your physician. If your child has strep throat, your physician will start antibiotic treatment according to the culture results. Be sure you give your child the entire antibiotic; otherwise the infection may not be completely cured.
  • Encourage proper dental hygiene and gargling with warm salt water to prevent infection.
  • Remember, hand washing is important to prevent spread of the infection, especially after your child wipes his or her nose and before eating or preparing food. Teach your child to cover his or her mouth when sneezing or coughing.

If your child has strep throat, he or she cannot return to school until antibiotic treatment has been taken for at least 24 hours.

Please inform the nurse in your child’s school that he or she has been diagnosed with Strep throat..

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