Most throat and nasal irritation illnesses are more often than not attributed to viruses and the common cold. While this is almost always right, there are times when an itchy sore throat could be due to a bacteria. The streptococcus bacteria is responsible for strep throat whose symptoms are almost similar to those of other viral infections.
The streptococcus bacteria resides in the throat and the nose and will be transmitted through close contact, coughing and sneezing. The bacteria will infect you once they get into contact with your mouth, eyes or nose. Even though children and teenagers are more susceptible, adults can still get a strep throat infection.
Strep Throat Diagnosis
Even though strep throat will have all the symptoms that come with a common cold, flu or other viral infections, it will rarely result into a runny nose. Moreover, strep targets the throat more meaning that your throat will ache more and earlier on whereas viral infections cause a dry sore throat later on in the infection cycle. Other symptoms to look for include:
- Red or swollen tonsils
- Nausea and vomiting
- A rash
- Tiny red spots on your palette
Once you see such symptoms, look for a medical practitioner to do a rapid strep test. A positive result means that the bacteria is present while a negative test indicate that you are suffering from a viral infection. An alternative test would be a throat culture that introduces a throat swab to a culture growing dish and giving it around two days for the streptococcus bacteria to grow.
Strep Throat Prevention
The best way to prevent strep throat infections is by keeping the bacteria away from your nose, mouth or eyes. You can do this through proper hygiene and keeping a distance from infected persons.
- Wash hands often to avoid infecting others or being infected
- Cover your mouth and nose with disposable tissue when coughing or sneezing
- Minimize mobility and stay indoors if you are infected to avoid spreading the bacteria
- Ensure that infected persons use specific utensils and keep others from using them before sanitization
Ensure that your infected child doesn’t go to school or get close to other children. You should also skip work to avoid infecting others. Keeping the bacteria contained and using antibacterials to cure it is by far the best way to avoid infecting others since second and third party prevention strategies are only effective on residual amounts of bacteria.
Treating bacterial infections is easy especially if your strain doesn’t show any antibacterial resistance. The health practitioner will prescribe a antibacterial dose that will last up to 10 days before it is complete.
Even though the symptoms might vanish as soon as you begin taking the medicine, stopping before you’ve done with the allocated dosage could be counterproductive. It takes a while for all the bacteria to die off hence you should ensure that you take all the medicine in the dosage to avoid reinfection.
While antibacterials are effective at fighting off bacterial infections, abuse of this kind of medication could result to drug resistant strains. The doctors always prescribe the least powerful antibacterials to avoid making other bacteria that could be in your body in benevolent concentrations drug resistant. Stopping your dosage half way could also contribute to making the strep throat bacteria more resistance. Even though this resistance won’t kick in overnight since it is an evolution and adaption reaction to the medication, keeping antibacterial use to the bare minimum is good for humanity.