What is Step Throat?
Strep throat is a bacterial infection that causes the inflammation of the tissue in the throat area. It is caused by the group A beta-haemolytic streptococcus bacteria. It most commonly affects the oral pharynx and tonsils. The symptoms of strep throat usually include fever, swollen lymph glands in the neck and white patches in the throat and tonsils. People with strep throat may also have a headache, nausea or vomiting, painful swallowing and a rash. When the rash develops it is then diagnosed as scarlet fever but the same bacteria causes both and both are treated the same way. Strep throat is most common in children and adolescents; however people of all ages can contract strep throat. Strep throat usually requires a course of antibiotics to cure it.
How Do You Get Step Throat?
Strep throat is very infectious and is often passed on by contact with someone who is carrying the group A beta-haemolytic streptococcus bacteria. Crowded places such as schools, hospitals and concerts increases the risk of catching strep throat and that is why children often contract strep throat. The strep throat bacterium is found in large concentrations in the nose and throat. Therefore normal everyday activities such as sneezing, coughing, shaking hands and less commonly sharing food or drink can cause the spread of Strep throat.
How Can You Prevent Catching Strep Throat?
There are a few simple things that you can do to prevent yourself from catching strep throat. The first and most important is to make sure that you wash your hands regularly. This is particularly important of you are about to eat, you are looking after someone with strep throat or you know you have come into contact with someone who is sick. Hand sanitizer is readily available in chemists and supermarkets. This is great to use if you do not have access to water and soap. Secondly make sure that you always cover your nose and mouth when coughing and sneezing. This prevents others from catching your germs. Lastly make sure that you do not share food or drinks with others. People can carry the strep throat bacteria without showing any symptoms so it pays to be careful.