Everyone must have experience at least once that irritating scratchy feeling in the back of their throat. What it that, a normal common cold problem or a streptococcal infection? This is very important to diagnose, because a normal common cold happens due to weather changes, dust allergies or winter conditions. Whereas streptococcal infection is a bacterial infection caused by specific species of bacteria known as Streptococci sp. This infection can be dangerous if not treated properly mainly in children, and therefore it is important to understand its symptoms and signs.
Look for these symptoms or signs of streptococcal infection
White patches in throat, tongue and tonsils
Red or swollen tonsils
Sore throat accompanied with high fever (101degree Fahrenheit or higher)
Swollen lymph nodes
Loss of appetite because it becomes hard to swallow
Abdomen pain and headache
In some cases, rash develops on neck and chest which can spread to other parts
Common cold which is a viral diseases is mainly accompanied with coughing, congestion and runny nose which are its main symptoms. These symptoms are less likely to occur with streptococcal infection, but are seen in some cases. Therefore it is important to notice other above signs and symptoms along with coughing, congestion and runny nose.
To decide that the sore throat is caused by normal viral infection or streptococcus bacteria, it is recommended to visit your doctor immediately after noticing these above symptoms. Rapid strep test are carried out which can be easy and rapid to detect. And if you are detected with streptococcal infection your doctor will prescribe you specific antibiotics or drugs against this bacteria. Hence it is advisable not to take antibiotics or any other medicines on your own, as viral antibiotic will not act against bacteria and only lead to antibiotic resistance in your body.
Remember, streptococcal infection is contagious diseases, and it remain contagious for 24 to 48 hours even after taking medicines, hence you need to be careful so that it does spread to others. Therefore you need to wash your hands, shouldn’t share your oral products and towels with others to prevent its spreading.
Whatever may be the cause of sore throat, you can use take care of your health initially by following simple home remedies to get relief from cough, cold or sore throat which include gargling in warm salt water, taking steam from vaporizer or humidifier, having comfort food (hot milkshakes, gelatine or soups), using ginger ale and drinking good amount of warm water. Avoid citrus fruits, cold drinks and ice-creams that can irritate your throat more.
So, next time when you experience irritating sore throat, just don’t ignore its symptoms thinking it is common cold, it could be signs of those streptococcal infection, and needs to be diagnosed and treated on time.