Strep throat is an affection of the throat caused by a bacteria called streptococcus, hence the name 'strep'. Strep throat can affect people of all ages, but it seems that it is mostly encountered at young children and teenagers.
The first symptoms that appear when strep throat occurs are sore throat, followed by fever. In some cases a stomach ache or a headache also appears.
The throat hurts when you swallow something and you also feel a general discomfort if you have strep throat. If the infection with the streptococcus bacteria is not treated in time it may cause some complications such as rashes or irritated joints.
Very young children, less than one year old, can become infected with the streptococcus or other virus and get strep throat. If this happens, a greenish liquid will start leaking from their nose, they will have fever and they will lose their appetite. Older children will have very high fever and their lymph nodes (a pair of glands that can be found under the jaws) will swallow noticeably.
Fortunately, strep throat can easily be treated with antibiotics, because the streptococcus is vulnerable to them. But the streptococcus bacteria is not the cause of all the strep throat cases, (in fact a large number of the strep throat cases are cause by other viruses, but they are similar with streptococcus), so don't take antibiotics unless your doctor has consulted you and he has prescribed them. The doctors do some tests in order to determine what the cause of strep throat is. They use a long cotton swab to take a sample from the throat's inside, and then this sample is thoroughly analyzed. Depending on the results you will receive the proper medication.
Be careful because strep throat is contagious. The bacteria guilty for this illness are spread into the air whenever someone with strep throat coughs, sneezes or talks. Fortunately antibiotics stop the bacteria from spreading too.
So if you see that your child is presenting some of the strep throat symptoms, take him to the doctor soon, before things get worse. In order to prevent the infection with the bacteria have your kid wash his hands often, especially before meals, and wash his teeth after them.
Finally, don't send a child with strep throat to school or don't let him play with other children, until he is completely cured of the infection, because he can quickly spread it to the other kids.
Strep throat is not a severe condition, and if it's treated early it doesn't cause any problems at all.
Author: Groshan Fabiola