Strep Throat Awareness

By: AvMed Health Tips AvMed Health Smarts, Pediatrics, Preventive Care

School is back in session across the country. Not only does your child have to deal with homework, but he or she also has to deal with germs. This school year, one thing to look out for is strep throat.

Strep throat infection shares many of the same symptoms as the common cold, so it’s easy to get them confused. Swollen tonsils and pain with swallowing are likely symptoms. However, unlike most colds, strep throat is caused by bacteria, not a virus.

If you notice your child experiencing these symptoms, a doctor visit is in order. Your child’s AvMed Provider should use a simple throat culture or rapid strep test to diagnose bacterial strep throat.

Should the test come out positive for a bacterial infection, your child will be prescribed antibiotics. It’s important that your child takes the antibiotics as directed. Even if he or she starts feeling better, your child should finish taking all the medicine to ensure the bacteria is completely eliminated.

If the test is negative for strep throat, the physician may look into other causes like a viral infection and will likely not prescribe antibiotics, since viral infections do not respond to antibiotics. In fact, misuse or overuse of antibiotics can lead to a bigger problem: antibiotic resistance. Antibiotic resistance makes it harder to treat any bacterial infections your child may contract future.

Prevention is still the best medicine for strep throat. Good hygiene is one of the most effective ways to prevent the condition. Your child should wash his or her hands regularly in soap and hot water as well as stay away from anyone who might appear sick at school.

For more information about strep throat, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website here.

 

EMBRACE | September 2018