One of the reasons to visit an urgent care center is if you have strep throat. Strep throat is very serious and painful, so getting prompt medical attention early is important. However, just because you have a bad sore throat doesn't mean you have strep throat. Here is more information about strep throat, the difference between strep throat and other types of sore throat, and strep throat treatment.
What Is Strep Throat?
Strep throat is a serious infection caused by the streptococcus group A bacteria. This group of bacteria generally affects younger people, but anyone can get it. It lives in the throat and nasal passages, and you can be asymptomatic for a long time before becoming sick.
What Are the Symptoms of Strep Throat?
Once you have an active infection, you are likely to have a fever and painful swallowing. However, you might also experience swollen lymph nodes and weird white or red spots in the back of your throat and tonsils. You may also have a rash and flu-like body aches.
How Is Strep Throat Different From a Sore Throat?
Regular sore throats are often caused by viruses, rather than bacteria. Simple irritation from allergies or smoking can cause store throats. Sore throats are more likely to be accompanied by a runny nose or cough. Most sore throats go away on their own with rest and common medications.
How Is Strep Throat Treated?
After strep throat is confirmed through testing, it is generally treated with antibiotics. If you start antibiotics early, then the strep throat will improve within a week. The infection takes twice as long without treatment. You may also feel more comfortable by taking pain and fever reducers.
Is Strep Throat Contagious?
Strep throat is highly contagious. Do not share food and utensils because that spreads the bacteria. It can also be spread through sneezing and coughing as well as handshaking. Fortunately, your pet cannot catch or give you this disease.
Can Strep Throat Have Complications?
Strep throat can eventually lead to severe complications like rheumatic fever. This is especially true if treatment is delayed. Rheumatic fever can damage the heart and cause long-term joint damage. Strep also damages the kidneys and can cause serious and long-lasting sinus and ear infections.
If you notice that you have any strep throat symptoms, or you have a high fever with a sore throat, then visit an urgent care center for treatment. Before you go, call the center ahead of time to let them know you are coming. Don't wait too long, or you could suffer complications and spread it to more people.
For more information, reach out to a company like 75th St Injury & Illness Center.