What is strep throat?
Strep throat is a bacterial infection that causes inflammation and pain in the throat. This common condition is caused by group A Streptococcus bacteria. Strep throat can affect children and adults of all ages. However, it’s especially common in children between the ages of 5 and 15. Sneezing and coughing can spread the infection from one person to another.
Symptoms of strep throat
The severity of strep throat can vary from person-to-person. Some people experience mild symptoms like a sore throat, whereas other people have more severe symptoms including fever and difficulty swallowing. The common symptoms of strep throat include:
- a sudden fever, especially if it’s 101˚F or higher
- a sore, red throat with white patches
- a headache
- a loss of appetite
- swollen lymph nodes in the neck
- trouble swallowing
The symptoms of strep throat typically develop within five days of exposure to the bacteria.
Call your doctor if you experience:
- a sore throat that lasts longer than two days
- a sore throat with white patches
- dark, red splotches or spots on the tonsils or the top of the mouth
- a sore throat with a fine, sandpaper-like pink rash on the skin
- difficulty breathing
- difficulty swallowing