Strep throat is a painful and contagious throat infection caused by Group-A Streptococcus bacteria. Strep throat goes by many different names including streptococcal tonsillitis, streptococcal pharyngitis or simply streptococcal sore throat. Afflicting children and adults alike, strep throat is usually accompanied by a host of unpleasant symptoms ranging from severe throat pain to raging fever.
Strep throat is a fast spreading communicable disease, which transmits from person to person via nasal droplets or salivary secretions. However, there have been instances when strep throat bacteria have been transmitted from person to person after consuming tainted food. Strep throat infection typically lasts for periods ranging from three to five days. The best way to combat a nasty strep throat infection is to take the prescribed antibiotics and enjoy plenty of bed rest.
Symptoms of Strep Throat
Depending on the severity of infection, the symptoms associated with strep throat can vary from mild to severe discomfort. Extreme symptoms of strep throat infection include rheumatic fever and kidney inflammation. Listed below are some of the common symptoms of strep throat.
One of the earliest symptoms of strep throat infection is severe pain in the throat. Depending on the level of infection throat ache can range from mild to severe pain. Along with pain, a person suffering from strep throat may complain of an itchy feeling along the back of his or her throat. The itchiness is accompanied by a painful, dry feeling along the back of the throat.
An individual with strep throat may find great difficulty in swallowing food. As the infection progresses the person may complain of a dull throbbing pain in his or her head.
Appearance of White Patches
If you open your mouth wide and look at your throat in the mirror, you will observe white patches on the surface of the tonsils. The white patches are due to pus and bacterial mucous forming on the back of the throat. The inner lining of the throat will be red and highly inflamed as well.
Tonsils are glands which are situated at the back of the throat. Strep throat infection causes the tonsils to become highly inflamed. If a person is suffering from a severe strep throat infection, the tonsils can become so inflamed that the person may find difficulty in swallowing his or her food. Careful observation can reveal the appearance of tiny red spots along the back of the throat, especially around the tonsils. This is another indication of strep throat infection.
Strep throat infection is often accompanied by high fever. Within one or two days of the onset of strep throat infection, an individual may complain of feeling feverish. Typically, strep throat infection can cause body temperature to soar above 100.4 degree Fahrenheit. High fever is often accompanied by feeling of malaise, headache, body pain, chills and fatigue.
Swollen Lymph Nodes
The lymph nodes which are situated around the neck will become enlarged. The lymph glands will become extremely painful to the touch as well. Painful and swollen lymph nodes are an indication of severe strep throat infection. Fatigue, stomach pain and vomiting are some of the other symptoms of strep throat infection.