Strep throat is one of the most common illnesses we see at our pediatric urgent care and we get questions every day about it and how strep is different from other common illnesses. Here are a few of the helpful basics…
Strep throat is most common in children, but can affect people of all ages. The infection causes the throat and the tonsils or adenoids to become irritated, inflamed and painful. If a child has any of the below symptoms, it might be good to check in with your child’s pediatrician or go to a pediatric urgent care center for a proper diagnosis and strept test.
Signs and symptoms of strep throat include:
Red and swollen tonsils
White or yellow spots or coating on the throat and tonsils
Bright red throat or dark spots on the roof of the mouth at the back near the throat
Fever of over 101 degrees
Swollen lymph nodes in the neck
Nausea or vomiting
Strep throat is caused by streptococcal bacteria and is highly contagious. The bacteria hangs out in the nose and throat and is easily spread through airborne droplets. Symptoms of strep throat usually begin 2 to 5 days after you come in contact with someone who has a strep infection.
It is possible to have all the above symptoms and not have strep throat, this is why a pediatrician will need to test specifically for strep throat. Antibiotic treatment reduces the duration and severity of symptoms. You can also use over-the-counter pain medications to help bring down fever and relieve throat pain. If strep throat is treated with antibiotics, your child is much less contagious after 24 hours and they are less likely to develop complications from the strep infection. If untreated with antibiotics, a child can continue to be contagious for 2-3 weeks even without symptoms.
It can be scary any time your child is sick, but rest assured that AllKids Urgent Care is here to help guide you every step of the way with a caring and knowledgeable pediatric staff. Both our pediatric urgent care clinics are open every day, from noon to 10 p.m. No appointment is necessary, just stop in and start your child on the road back to health.