Strep throat, medically known as streptococcus throat, is a throat infection that can cause considerable pain in the throat. It may also result in a hoarse voice, a runny nose, a fever, headaches, body aches, and a persistent cough. Some people who develop strep throat have small pus-filled deposits on the tonsils, as well.
The most common treatment for strep throat is antibiotics, typically penicillin or amoxicillin. Antibiotics have the power to destroy the bacteria (A Streptococcus) that causes strep throat to develop. Antibiotics can relieve sore throat pain caused by strep throat, help speed up the healing process, and reduce the likelihood of spreading strep throat to other people. Antibiotics can also stop complications like tonsil or sinus infections from developing. Oral antibiotics are typically taken 3 times per day. Most antibiotic treatment courses for strep throat last for 10 days. People typically start to feel better within just a day or two, but it is very important to take all the pills exactly as directed. Another option is a single injection of penicillin that can start to clear the strep throat up in a single day.
If strep throat is not treated, there can be some serious results. Sinus infections, tonsil infections, kidney problems, and even rheumatic fever can result if the strep throat treatment is not promptly treated.
There are several risk factors for strep throat. Young children have the highest risk level for strep throat. Time of year may play into the development of strep throat, as it is most common in the later part of fall and in the start of the spring season. The risk of developing strep throat is higher for anyone who is around other people with strep throat, as it spreads easily.