LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - Viruses, bacteria, allergens - they can all cause scratchy, sore throats. One of the most painful conditions, strep throat, is caused by Group A Strep bacteria.
Every day this week, Dr. Jay Marque at Lake Charles Urgent Care is treating patients with strep throat.
"Strep pharyngitis or strep throat is a common bacterial infection of the throat that affects all ages," he said "It's most common in the age group between five and 15 and it's rare in under three years old."
The symptoms can come on quickly, with the most common pain being a raw, sore throat.
"Fever, rapid onset of sore throat, swollen glands in the neck," said Dr. Marque. "Red, swollen tonsils, sometimes with white patches of pus in the back of the throat."
Dr. Marque says you do not typically see coughing, congestion, and runny noses with strep throat. That is more a sign of a viral infection.
A rapid strep test in the office gives a definitive diagnosis of strep throat.
"We'll diagnose it with a rapid strep test and if that's negative and we still have a high index of suspicion, sometimes we'll send a throat culture," said Dr. Marque.
Antibiotics are the best treatment for strep. There are two options with antibiotic treatments: a one-time injection or oral antibiotics that last up to 10 days.
"After 24 hours, you're no longer contagious and the symptoms usually improve fairly rapidly," said Dr. Marque.
Strep is spread through saliva. The best prevention is tried and true good hand hygiene.
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