Kids Home > Information on Strep Throat

Caused by group A streptococcus bacteria (also known as GAS or Streptococcus pyogenes), strep throat is the most common type of bacterial infection. It typically affects children between the ages of 5 and 15, although it can occur in younger children and adults.
Strep throat is most frequently diagnosed during the late fall, winter, and early spring. Because there is not one particular sign or symptom that specifically points to strep throat, a healthcare provider will seek information on possible strep throat symptoms you may be experiencing. For example, a person with strep throat usually has at least two out of four of these signs or symptoms:
  • A red and painful throat that begins suddenly
  • A fever above 101ºF (38.3ºC)
  • Red and enlarged tonsils -- there may also be white patches of pus on the tonsils or in the throat
  • Tender or swollen lymph glands in the neck.
The most common method of treating strep throat is with an antibiotic, typically penicillin.
(Click Strep Throat for more information on this topic. This article provides a complete overview of this throat infection, including details on how it is spread, other possible symptoms, and common treatment options.)
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Last reviewed by: Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
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