I have gathered helpful info regarding streptococcus pyogenes the bacteria responsible for Strep Throat. I have organized these nuggets in simple form from the trustworthy websites of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), WebMD and KidsHealth. Strep Throat is another reason for frequent hand washing. Hand washing is the most important action we can take to prevent the spread of germs. Please share this information with your families, friends, parents and children.
Strep throat is most common in school-age children and where large groups gather together.
Strep likes to live in the throat and nose, that is why sneezing and coughing spreads strep.
Strep is also spread through droplets, so breathing, talking and singing can spread Strep. (I had to add this, so please don’t attend your next choral practice if you have strep throat)
Some people can carry Strep to you but not seem ill.
Objects and direct contact like handshakes can also carry the Strep bacteria.
All of the above are a good reasons not to touch your nose, eyes or mouth with your hands after gathering with a bunch of people.
It takes 2 to 5 days for Strep symptoms to appear after you are exposed.
Sudden sore throat pain, difficulty swallowing, fever, stomachache, white, red or yellow patches on the throat, swollen neck glands, red large tonsils, headache, and rash.
Diagnosis and Treatment:
Doctors may perform a rapid strep test which will confirm strep in about 5 mins. If you have all the likely symptoms but the rapid test comes up negative, they will do a throat culture which take a few days to receive the results.
Strep is treated with antibiotics prescribed by your doctor, usually for 10 days.
Usually after 24 hours of antibiotics, you are no longer contagious.
Antibiotics help to shorten the amount of days that Strep is contagious to others besides curing the Strep.
If Strep is untreated you will be contagious for about 21 days.
Medically fragile people are the most susceptible to other health problems and untreated Strep may move to other parts of the body.
Complication of Strep:
Rarely: otitis media (ear infection), sinus infections,
Rarer: other throat and neck infections, abscesses, blood infections, even toxic shock syndrome.
Complications because of the immune system: rheumatic fever (which affects the heart), inflammation of the kidneys or complication of children with neurological disorders.
Prevention and Summary
Wash your hands
Use tissues instead of handkerchiefs
Don’t drink or eat from the same utensils of others.
Make sure you get enough rest, don’t get run down.
Moisten the air you breathe, dry nostrils are better targets for bacteria.
Change your toothbrush when you are ill and after you are ill.
Stay away for sick people, and if you are ill, stay away from healthy people and people with fragile health.
Take the whole prescription your doctor has ordered. If you only take part, it will cause the infection to come back stronger, one of the reasons we have antibiotic resistant bacteria.
Please: If you have any questions as to the safety and well being of anyone you care for, please call your doctor or call 911. It is always better to ask.
Have a great school year, stay healthy and active, be kind to your neighbor and don’t go to school, work or large gatherings when you are ill. And remember, when in doubt check it out, and… wash your hands.
For Healthy kids and families,
Ms. Dawn, The Singing Nurse
Handwashing song: Rubba Dub Dub