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Strep throat is a bacterial infection that can cause serious problems in both children and adults. Patients who are experiencing a persistent sore throat should take it seriously and get checked promptly. Strep throat can be highly contagious, so don't delay in getting help when it's needed. Dr. Jon’s Urgent Care Center in Martinsville, Virginia offers both regular appointments and urgent care to make sure that their patients get the treatment they need as quickly as possible.
Strep throat is an infection triggered by the presence of group A Streptococcus bacteria in the body. This condition causes symptoms like sore throat, swollen neck, and severe throat inflammation. Strep throat may also cause symptoms like white patches on the tonsils, cough, headaches, and hoarseness.
While it's not common, it's possible to have strep throat without having all the obvious symptoms of the condition. If you're exposed to strep throat, it's best to be tested for it even if you're not showing any symptoms yet. Strep throat is most common in young children and teenagers, but it does sometimes occur in adults as well.
Yes, strep throat is highly contagious. Most patients get strep throat through exposure to a family member or through someone else close to them. If you're diagnosed with strep throat, your doctor will typically recommend that you avoid exposure to others until the bacteria has been destroyed and you're on the way to recovery. Once you've started antibiotics, you're typically no longer contagious after around 24 hours.
There is a simple strep throat test that can be administered on site at Dr. Jon’s Urgent Care Center. The strep throat test requires a quick swabbing of the tonsil area to obtain sample cells. The sample is then checked for group A streptococcus bacteria, and if that bacteria is present a strep throat diagnosis can be made based upon the sample.
Strep throat is typically treated using oral antibiotics. Antibiotics such as penicillin are typically taken for 7-10 days to destroy the bacteria causing the strep throat. In most cases, you'll start feeling much better after just a few days of treatment. However, it's very important that you complete the entire round of antibiotics to make sure that the bacteria is completely destroyed.
It is also imperative that you get plenty of rest and stay properly hydrated while your body fights off the infection. Depending on the severity of your case, your doctor may recommend that you take time off from work or school.