A throat infection caused by the group A streptococcus bacteria, strep throat is worrisome on two accounts – one, that it is contagious and two, that if left untreated, it can lead to serious complications including rheumatic fever and kidney inflammation. Moreover, even as strep throat may occur in children and adults of any age, it is most common in those aged 5 to 15 years. When and where is it more frequent?
Usually, the incidence of streptococcal infection increases during the late fall and early spring in places where people are in close contact with each other, such as schools, day care centers, and offices. Sharing napkins, handkerchiefs, towels, soft toys can be ways for the disease to spread.
The disease can also be passed from one person to another by sharing eating utensils, glasses, plates, or bowls with people who are either diagnosed with strep throat or are showing symptoms of the disease. Exposure to sores due to strep skin infection is also a risk factor.
Therefore, early diagnosis and speedy treatment is very crucial. Anyone suffering from the following symptoms should get themselves tested for strep throat as soon as possible.
1. Sore Throat
Throat ache is the most widely prevalent and typical symptom associated with strep throat. It causes a feeling of rawness, almost like an itch at the back of the throat. Those suffering from this condition may find it difficult to swallow as well as speak loudly on account of the pain. Even as this is the most distinctive symptom of strep throat, it is hardly an uncommon condition and may be caused by several other diseases. Thus, in the early stages of the infection where sore throat is amongst the only few symptoms to occur, accurate diagnosis may not be achieved in one doctoral visit. As more symptoms begin to appear, detection becomes easier and more specific.