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Strep Throat (Pharyngitis) - Summary
Strep throat is a type of pharyngitis caused by a specific type of bacteria that often presents with a sore throat and other symptoms due to an infection of the mouth and throat. People who need treatment for a possible strep throat infection can use Push Health to connect with a medical provider who can prescribe strep throat antibiotics when appropriate and indicated to do so.
What Is Strep Throat?
Strep throat belongs to a larger class of conditions known as pharyngitis. In general, pharyngitis can be caused by a wide range of infectious agents known as viruses and bacteria. In the case of strep throat specifically, the causative agent is a bacteria known as Streptococcus pyogenes (S. pyogenes). This bacteria, also known as group A strep, infects the throat (oropharynx) which results in the symptoms of strep throat.
Strep Throat - Symptoms and Signs
Strep throat can present with a variety of signs and symptoms. A group A strep infection may result in no symptoms at all. However, most people who have a strep throat infection have several common symptoms, including a fever, pain when swallowing and a sore throat that starts suddenly. Other symptoms that may occur from a strep throat infection include pain in the abdomen, fatigue and vomiting. On examination, some people with strep throat may demonstrate red lesions in the mouth and throat, white exudates on the throat or small, enlarged nodes on the front part of the neck.
Strep Throat - Antibiotics / Treatment
While some cases of streptococcal pharyngitis will resolve on their own, treatment with appropriate medications can help reduce the severity of a strep infection and reduce the risk of complications. Antibiotics that might be used in treating a strep throat infection include the following:
In conjunction with supportive measures, strep throat treatment with medications is a useful way to improve the course of a group A strep infection.
Is Strep Throat Contagious?
Many people wonder if strep throat is contagious. Like many other infections, strep throat is quite contagious. Typically, strep throat spreads when secretions from the nose or saliva of an infected person spreads to another person. Because of this, crowded areas such as schools can increase the spread of strep throat in a population because it is much easier for infected droplets to pass from person to person. People with a strep throat infection are advised to avoid attending schools and similar environments until cleared by a medical provider to return.
Strep Throat - Other Remedies
While prescription medications are useful for treating strep throat, other remedies can help improve the severity of symptoms associated with a strep throat infection. Measures to calm the soreness in one's throat such as warm water with honey, caffeine-free tea and soup broth may be beneficial. Also, saltwater gargles may be useful for easing throat pain. Over-the-counter pain medications such as ibuprofen or naproxen (Naprosyn) can help as well and also reduce symptoms associated with any underlying fever.
Streptococcal Pharyngitis Treatment Online
While group A strep infections may resolve on their own, prescription medication treatment can reduce the risk of significant complications, shorten the duration of strep throat symptoms and reduce the risk of infecting other people. People who need strep throat antibiotic treatment online can use Push Health to connect with a medical provider in the area who can prescribe strep throat treatment when appropriate to do so.
More Strep Throat Information
Last updated January 5, 2021. Given the evolving nature of medicine and science, this information might not be accurate and should not be construed as medical advice or diagnosis / treatment recommendations. Please consult a licensed medical provider if you have additional questions.