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Strep Infection Throat

Caused by specific bacteria called group A streptococcus, strep is a throat infection that is contagious and can affect anyone. However, it typically affects children between the ages of 5 and 15.
 
It most often occurs 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 specific information on the symptoms you are experiencing. For instance, strep throat usually includes at least two of these four 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.
     
Penicillin is typically the antibiotic of choice for treating strep throat. After 24 hours of starting antibiotics, a person's temperature should drop, and he or she is no longer considered contagious. After two or three days, other symptoms of strep throat should start to improve.
 
(Click Strep Throat for a more in-depth look at this throat infection. This article provides a complete overview, including details on what causes it, possible symptoms, and common treatment options.)
 
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