Strep throat is a kind of infection which is linked with throat and tonsils. The reason for this kind of infection is a kind of bacteria known as group A Streptococcus (GAS). It’s a highly contagious bacterial infection that makes our throat very painful and itchy.
Reason of spreading of throat contagious
One of the main reasons for spreading of Throat Contagious is GAS bacteria which spread from person to another by getting contacted with respiratory droplets from a person with strep throat. These droplets will spread in case a person having strep throat coughs or sneezes and the person standing near to the infected person can get in grip of this infection. In case you get exposed to these kinds of droplets and after that touch your mouth, nose, or eyes as well, then you will also have throat contagious. Chances of getting infected increases in case:
- You share food or cold drink with the person who is already having strep throat
- Or in case you get closer with a contaminated object like faucet or doorknob, then also you will get infected
In case you are infected with strep throat contagious, then you will also start experiencing the same symptoms after two-five days.
What is contagious period?
In case you get in contact with the same bacteria, then you can be contagious a few days before you start experiencing the symptoms as well. In case you are taking antibiotics, you will still remain contagious until you have using antibiotics for at least past one day. In case you don’t take any kind of treatment, then also you will still remain contagious for 2 to 3 weeks post coming in contact with the infected person.
This kind of Strep throat infection is mist common in school-going children as the chances of spreading of the infection increases majorly. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 30 percent children with a sore throat experience strep throat while it is only 10 percent in case of the adults who have a sore throat and strep throat.
Adults who remain to school-going children are on the higher risk of getting infected with strep throat and we know that strep throat is very contagious, and spread quickly in the crowded places like schools, daycare centers thus increasing the chances of others becoming sick as well. Strep throat can occur to anyone at any time of the year, but is most prevalent in the late fall or early spring season.
Others who can have a strep throat?
Strep throat mostly spreads in late fall and early spring, and is most common among children aged between 5 to 15 years. But adults can also get in the grip of this infection as well. People who don’t have a strong immune system have higher chances of getting infected with strep as compared to the ones that have a stronger immune system. People with following factors are a higher risk of getting infected with strep throat contagious:
- Those who have weaker immune system
- Are HIV, AIDS, or cancer patients
- Recently have undergone an organ transplant
It is recurring in nature
Even if you had a strep throat earlier, then also you can have the infection again in the future. The recurring strep throat is quite common among children who experience the disease many times in a year. In case you are experiencing the same problem ever year or in the case of recurring infections, you can contact your doctor who will recommend tonsil removal to you which will help in lowering the frequency of strep throat infections. This process is being referred as tonsillectomy.
Still there is no evidence supporting that you will not get strep throat after you have get your your tonsils removed.
Some of the most common and troubling symptoms of strep throat include:
- Sore throat that appears suddenly
- Pain at the time of swallowing
- Fever of more than 101°F (38.3°C)
- Occurrence of small red spots near the roof of your mouth
- Red color swollen tonsils and some white spots or streaks of pus
- Continuous feeling of nausea or vomiting
Sometimes people who have strep throat might also develop some kind of rashes as well which are known as scarlet fever. These rashes appear due to a toxin GAS bacteria produce, though this fever is generally mild but still you need to take antibiotics to treat the fever. Also, by taking the antibiotics the complications like such as rheumatic fever or kidney damage can be avoided.
Treatment for Strep Throat Contagious
In case you suspect that you are having a strep throat, then you must consult your doctor at the earliest who will test and will start treating you for the same. Penicillin or amoxicillin are the most common treatment refereed by the doctors to cure strep throat. In case you are allergic to penicillin, then there are many other kinds of antibiotics available which your doctor will give. Antibiotics are useful in making you feel better quickly; also, they will lower the amount of time that you are contagious.
Majority of the people don’t remain contagious post started taking antibiotics. You just need to be sure that you don’t stop taking antibiotics mid-way and in fact should complete the entire course of antibiotics until and unless your doctor advise something else. Also, along with antibiotics, your doctor might also advise you to take over-the-counter (OTC) medicine which will help in lowering the impact of infection and even your symptoms will become controlled post taking medicines like ibuprofen, or acetaminophen which should be taken only in case your doctor advises the same.
In case you are taking antibiotic treatment to get rid of your strep throat, then your illness will also go with the passage of time and it will last only for one to three days. But in case, you are not taking treatment for the same, then the recovery will also take longer, and the chances of developing complications will also shoot up. Without taking proper treatment, you will continue remain contagious for many weeks, even if you stop feeling sick anymore.
Prevention of strep throat from spreading
The below-mentioned prevention tips will help you to stop the spreading of strep throat:
Wash hands properly
First of all you must clean your hands properly and on a regular basis. You must use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer or soap to clean hands and prefer warm water rather than cold water as it will kill the bacteria in a more enhanced way. You must always carry hand sanitizer with you, especially when you are moving out of the house and there will be no washrooms, sinks, or clean water which can help you in cleaning you hands. You must scrub your hands, front and back, etc for a few seconds as keeping your hands under the running water is not enough to kill the germs.
Clean your house
You and your family members need to follow some simple and easy ways to keep infection away from your home. You should clean surfaces in your house especially in case you or someone else in your family is having a strep throat. Hygienic is much important and you should not compromise with it all. There are higher chances that bacteria will survive for shorter time on many kinds of items like doorknobs, tabletops, mats etc.
Cover your mouth while sneezing
In case you someone in your family is having a strep throat, then make sure that you are cleaning your hands frequently and also don’t touching your face, nose, and mouth. If possible, stay away from someone who has strep throat till they’ve been on antibiotics for at a minimum 24 hours.
Don’t consume shared food
You must not consume shared food items, drinks, or even utensils as well with others as it will increase your chances of infection. You should also not share your personal belongings like toothbrushes, soap etc with others. In case you have a strep throat, then make sure that you cover your mouth at the time of coughing or sneezing. You must always carry disposable tissues with you while going out somewhere or even inside your home as well.
In case you think that you are having a strep throat, then you must take an appointment with your doctor. your doctor will examine you with strep throat by doing a simple throat culture and in case you are found positive for Streptococcus pyogenes then the according treatment will start. You will start witnessing some relief in your symptoms after taking medicine, usually within 24 to 48 hours taking first dosage of antibiotics, you will witness some relief in your condition. In case you are facing a strep throat, try to stay indoor; so that others don’t get infected. Once you begin with your treatment and start taking antibiotics, you must stay indoors until you’ve been taking them for a minimum 24 hours.
Make changes in your diet plan
Along with taking medications as prescribed by your doctor, you must also make some changes in your dietary plan which in turn will help you to manage the symptoms of strep throat easily. First of all, drink lots of water and you need to stay hydrated all the time. By drinking lots of water, you can stay hydrated and moisten your throat allowing it to swallow things easily. You should add those kinds of food items in your diet that are soft and can be swallowed easily, like soup, yogurt, etc which can be swallowed easily without any kind of difficulty. Don’t take spicy foods till the time you are infected with strep throat as will bring more trouble and will irritate your sore throat as well. In case your child is suffering from strep throat and is unable to eat as well, try to give them food in a puriee form so that they can easily swallow it.
Learn to manage your symptoms
Besides taking antibiotics referred by your doctor, your doctor will also motivate you to take over-the-counter medicines to witness quick relieve in your symptoms. For instance, taking ibuprofen and acetaminophen will lower your fever along with giving you some ease in your sore throat but along with it you can also gargle warm salt water for number of times in a day. This way you can get relieve in your sore throat. In case your child has strep throat, then your doctor might advise not to give aspirin to the little ones as it will result in a serious illness known as Reye’s syndrome.
By following the above mentioned prevention tips, one can witness relief in strep throat. Though, the symptoms of strep throat disappear after sometime on their own but untreated cases, will result in other kind of serious illnesses as well. So contact your doctor in case you are not experiencing any kind of relief in your strep throat.