What's Going Around: sore throats

What's Going Around: sore throats
Viral sore throats and strep throat are what's going around this week, according to Dr. Robert Anderson at Calcasieu Urgent Care. (Source: KPLC)

CALCASIEU PARISH, LA (KPLC) - If your throat is feeling sore or you are feeling pain swallowing, you might have what's going around this week.

Viral sore throats and strep throat are the main culprits, according to Dr. Robert Anderson at Calcasieu Urgent Care.

"We're seeing a lot of strep throat, we're seeing a lot of just sore throats," he said.  "Some of them are strep, a lot of them are post-nasal drip, a lot of them are probably viral."

The symptoms typically start off the same: the soreness, scratchiness, pain when swallowing.  But when fever is involved, that is a bigger red flag for a bacterial infection.

"More of the sore throat, a lot of them have the drip, a little bit of headache, but not a lot of fever," said Dr. Anderson.  "When they start getting the fever, that's when we're starting to think more of strep throat."

Dr. Anderson says antibiotics and a steroid shot help patients get over strep throat the fastest.

For a viral sore throat, it is managing the symptoms.

Allergy-related post-nasal drip can be remedied with over-the-counter medications.

"The non-sedating: the Claritins, the Zyrtecs, the Allegras," said Dr. Anderson.  "If you're doing bedtime, Benadryl.  Probably not great in daytime because it makes you sleepy, but Benadryl really works well at night."

Dr. Anderson says teens seem to be the hardest hit patient population this week.
For kids with sore throats, it can be trickier to know what's making them feel sick.

"The way you figure that out usually, is they just won't eat," said Dr. Anderson.  "Then you look in their throat and it's big and red and swollen and sometimes you can see pus."

Sore throats caused by allergies are not contagious, but viral and bacterial sore throats are through mucus, nasal discharge, and saliva.

Dr. Anderson is also seeing a lot of people with stomach bugs this week.

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