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Strep throat

Strep throat: Introduction

Strep throat is an acute infection of the throat caused by a streptococcal infection, a type of bacterial infection.

Strep throat leads to swelling and irritation (inflammation) of the throat and is the most common bacterial cause of tonsillitis. Strep throat can occur to anyone but is most common in children.

Symptoms of strep throat include a sore throat, although not all people with strep throat will have a sore throat. The throat and tonsils become red, swollen, and white patches of pus may appear on the tonsils. Other symptoms include pain with swallowing, difficulty swallowing, headache, fever, and swollen glands (swollen lymph nodes). Complications of strep throat are possible in rare cases. Complications can include rheumatic fever and scarlet fever. For additional symptoms and more information about complications, refer to symptoms of strep throat.

The streptococcal infection that causes strep throat is contagious and spreads when an infected person talks, coughs or sneezes. This shoots droplets contaminated with streptococcus bacteria into the air where they can be breathed in by others. The streptococcal infection that causes strep throat can also spread by touching an infected person or a contaminated surface, such as a contaminated drinking glass or computer keyboard.

Making a diagnosis of strep throat involves taking a thorough health history, including symptoms, and performing a physical exam. This includes examining the throat with a lighted instrument for the typical signs of strep throat. These include swelling, redness and irritation of the throat and tonsils and the presence of pockets of pus on the tonsils. At this time a throat culture and sensitivity is performed.

A throat culture and sensitivity involves swabbing the tonsils and tonsils with a cotton swab and growing and examining the sample under a microscope for the streptococcus bacteria. This test can take up to two days and also determines the most effective antibiotic needed to treat a specific case of strep throat. A similar but quicker test that can be done in less than half an hour is also often performed. This is called a rapid strep test and can only check for a group A streptococcal infection.

A physical examination also includes feeling the lymph glands for signs of swelling.

Blood tests, may be performed If a person with strep throat is very ill, has a high fever or other signs of an infection in other areas of the body, or has had symptoms for more than two weeks. Blood tests may include a complete blood count, which tests for an abnormally high number of white blood cells. This indicates an infectious process occurring in the body. An urinanalysis on the urine and other tests may be done if there are symptoms of a complications called acute glomerulonephritis, a type of kidney disease.

Because strep throat can mimic mononucleosis, a rapid test called a monospot may also be done to check for mononucleosis. A monospot test might be performed in conjunction with a blood test that checks for the presence of specific antibodies that the body produces to fight mononucleosis.

It is possible that a diagnosis of strep throat can be delayed or overlooked because some people do not have a sore throat. In addition, the symptoms of strep throat may resemble symptoms of other diseases, such as viral pharyngitis. For information about misdiagnosis and diseases and conditions that can mimic strep throat, refer to misdiagnosis ofstrep throat.

Treatment of strep throat includes antibiotics. The most effective antibiotic to treat strep throat is often penicillin. Treatment also includes measures to help relieve symptoms and keep the body as strong as possible to minimize the risk of developing complications. This includes rest, medications to ease body aches and fever, and drinking plenty of fluids. People who are in good health can generally recover from the strep throat at home by taking antibiotics as directed and with supportive care, such as rest, fluids, and pain relievers....more »

Strep throat: Misdiagnosis

A diagnosis of strep throat may be missed or delayed because some people do not have a sore throat. Misdiagnosing strep throat is also possible because the symptoms of strep throat can mimic symptoms of other diseases, such as influenza, cold, mononucleosis, pharyngitis, and upper respiratory infection. ...more misdiagnosis »

Home Diagnostic Testing and Strep throat

Home medical tests possibly related to Strep throat:

Strep throat: Symptom Checker

Listed below are some combinations of symptoms associated with Strep throat, as listed in our database. Visit the Symptom Checker, to add and remove symptoms and research your condition.

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Strep throat Treatments

Treatment of strep throat begins with preventing the spread of the streptococcus bacteria that can cause it. Prevention measures include avoiding contact with people who have strep throat. Preventive measures also include covering your mouth and nose with your elbow or a tissue when you sneeze or cough and washing hands frequently with soap and water ...Strep throat Treatments

Some of the possible treatments listed in sources for treatment of Strep throat may include:

Review further information on Strep throat Treatments.

Alternative Treatments for Strep throat

Alternative treatments or home remedies that have been listed as possibly helpful for Strep throat may include:

  • Oral pain reliever
  • Lemon juice and warm water gargle
  • Warm salt water gargle
  • Warm salt water and Listerine gargle
  • Sage, alum, brown sugar, vinegar and warm water gargle
  • more treatments »

Stories from Users for Strep throat

Real-life user stories relating to Strep throat:

Strep throat: Animations

Medications or substances causing Strep throat:

The following drugs, medications, substances or toxins are some of the possible causes of Strep throat as a symptom. Always advise your doctor of any medications or treatments you are using, including prescription, over-the-counter, supplements, herbal or alternative treatments.

Strep throat: Comorbid Symptoms

Some of the comorbid or associated medical symptoms for Strep throat may include these symptoms:

Causes of General Symptom Types

Research the causes of these more general types of symptom:

Research the causes of related medical symptoms such as:

Causes of Similar Symptoms to Strep throat

Research the causes of these symptoms that are similar to, or related to, the symptom Strep throat:

Misdiagnosis and Strep throat

Sinusitis is overdiagnosed: There is a tendency to give a diagnosis of sinusitis, when the condition is really a harmless complication of another infection, such as a common more »

Whooping cough often undiagnosed: Although most children in the Western world have been immunized against whooping cough (also called "pertussis"), this protection wears off after about 15 years. Thus, any teen or adult with a persistent cough may more »

Leg cramps at night a classic sign: The symptom of having leg muscle cramps, particularly at night, is a classic sign of undiagnosed diabetes. However, there are more »

Vitamin B12 deficiency under-diagnosed: The condition of Vitamin B12 deficiency is a possible misdiagnosis of various conditions, such as multiple sclerosis (see more »

Chronic lung diseases hard to diagnose: Some of the chronic lung diseases are difficult to diagnose. Even the well-knowns conditions such as asthma or lung cancer often fail to be diagnosed early. Some of the chronic lung diseases with more »

Strep throat: Research Related Doctors & Specialists

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Hospitals & Clinics: Strep throat

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Strep throat: Related Rare Diseases

Rare types of medical conditions and diseases in related medical categories:

Strep throat: Undiagnosed Conditions

Conditions that are commonly undiagnosed in related areas may include:

Definitions of Strep throat:

An infection of the oral pharynx and tonsils by streptococcus
- (Source - WordNet 2.1)

Detailed list of causes of Strep throat

The list below shows some of the causes of Strep throat mentioned in various sources:

How Common are these Causes of Strep throat?

This information refers to the general prevalence and incidence of these diseases, not to how likely they are to be the actual cause of Strep throat. Of the 2 causes of Strep throat that we have listed, we have the following prevalence/incidence information:

  • 0 causes are "very common" diseases
  • 0 causes are "common" diseases
  • 0 causes are "uncommon" diseases
  • 0 causes are "rare" diseases
  • 1 causes are "very rare" diseases
  • 1 causes have no prevalence information.

Conditions listing medical symptoms: Strep throat:

The following list of conditions have 'Strep throat' or similar listed as a symptom in our database. This computer-generated list may be inaccurate or incomplete. Always seek prompt professional medical advice about the cause of any symptom.

Select from the following alphabetical view of conditions which include a symptom of Strep throat or choose View All.


Conditions listing medical complications: Strep throat:

The following list of medical conditions have Strep throat or similar listed as a medical complication in our database. The distinction between a symptom and complication is not always clear, and conditions mentioning this symptom as a complication may also be relevant. This computer-generated list may be inaccurate or incomplete. Always seek prompt professional medical advice about the cause of any symptom.


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Causes of Strep throat Based on Risk Factors

This information shows analysis of the list of causes of Strep throat based on whether certain risk factors apply to the patient:

  • Diabetes - history of diabetes or family history of diabetes?

    Classifications of Strep throat:

    Medical Conditions associated with Strep throat:

    Sore throat (512 causes), Throat symptoms (3410 causes), Pain (6458 causes), Common symptoms (8589 causes), Respiratory tract symptoms (5166 causes), Sensations (6520 causes), Brain symptoms (2787 causes), Neurological symptoms (9575 causes), Sensory symptoms (7134 causes), Nerve symptoms (9132 causes), Mouth symptoms (6864 causes), Body symptoms (5672 causes), Breathing symptoms (3381 causes), Breath symptoms (3023 causes), Head symptoms (10192 causes), Face symptoms (8109 causes)

    Symptoms related to Strep throat:

    Sore throat (512 causes), Red throat (44 causes), Throat infection (13 causes), Throat symptoms (3410 causes), Difficulty swallowing (702 causes), Group A Streptococcal Infections, Streptococcal Infections

    Medical articles on signs and symptoms:

    Doctor-patient articles related to symptoms and diagnosis:

    These general medical articles may be of interest:

    Evidence Based Medicine Research for Strep throat

    Medical research papers related to Strep throat include:

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    Related medical articles from our Disease Center for Strep throat:

    More Ways To Research Medical Signs and Symptoms:


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