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Strep Throat (Sore Throat) Information

Strep throat is the most common type of bacterial infection. It is caused by group A streptococcus bacteria (also known as GAS or Streptococcus pyogenes). Although it can affect anyone, it typically affects children between the ages of 5 and 15.
Because there is not one particular sign or symptom that specifically points to strep throat, a healthcare provider will seek specific information on your symptoms, such as a sore throat. Strep throat symptoms, for instance, usually include at least two of these four signs:
  • 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 is no longer considered contagious; the person's temperature should also drop. After two or three days, other symptoms should start to improve.
(For more information on whether a sore throat is strep throat, click Strep Throat. This article provides a complete overview of this bacterial throat infection, including details on its cause, possible symptoms, and treatment options.)
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