Strep throat is a bacterial infection that is most common in colder months, requiring medical attention and prescription antibiotics to fully treat. Strep shares many symptoms with other upper respiratory infections, which can cause you to delay seeking care because you may think it’s just a simple cold or the flu. Learning the key differences between strep and other illnesses is crucial to getting the right treatment and preventing complications.

What causes strep throat to form?

The infection is caused by Group A strep and can affect patients of all ages, though it’s most common in children. Strep throat is spread through direct and indirect contact, including when an infected person coughs or sneezes or when you share kitchenware including utensils and cups with someone who has the illness.

Symptoms of strep throat

A case of strep throat can develop quickly, with initial symptoms showing up without notice. Symptoms can include:

  • Sudden onset sore throat
  • Painful or difficulty swallowing
  • A rash along the top of the back of the roof of your mouth consisting of small red dots
  • Red or patches of white on irritated tonsils
  • Swollen lymph nodes

Younger children can exhibit further symptoms including vomiting, nausea, stomach cramps and a headache.

Prevention of Strep Throat

Strep throat can be avoided in many of the same ways as other illnesses can be prevented. Whenever you feel a cough or sneeze, make sure you cover your nose and mouth with the crook of your elbow, using the “Vampire Method.” This will help contain the germs and stop them from hitting those around you. Avoid sharing utensils or drinking glasses with anyone who is displaying symptoms of illness, from sniffles to coughing. The most important thing you can do to prevent getting sick and catching strep throat is to wash your hands regularly throughout the day with hot, soapy water. You should be washing your hands after using the restroom, before and after handling food, before eating, and after changing a diaper. When teaching children how to wash their hands, have them sing Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star at least once so they can learn how long to scrub under the water.

Strep Throat Treatment in North Bergen, Union City & Secaucus, NJ

If you are beginning to exhibit symptoms of strep throat, visit AFC Urgent Care North Bergen for treatment! We can perform a rapid strep test and process the sample in our on-site lab, allowing us to provide you with results and antibiotics within minutes. Walk-in patients are always welcome, so you’ll never need to worry about making an appointment. For questions, please call 201-588-1300.