What Should I Know About Strep Throat Treatment?

You’ve likely had strep throat before, and you likely had it as a kid. In fact, according to the CDC, three out of 10 kids who have a sore throat really have strep throat.

Strep throat is even more common among children and adults during the winter months, so it’s important to know what the symptoms are and how it is treated. Our AFC Urgent Care Sevierville team highlights some of this important info below, so keep reading!

What Is Strep Throat?

Strep throat is an infection caused by group A Streptococcus bacteria. It can make your throat red, swollen and sore, and it is highly contagious.

You can usually clear it up with antibiotics, but when the infection isn’t treated correctly or is left untreated, it can lead to more serious complications. We’ve listed its most common symptoms below.

Common Strep Throat Symptoms

  • A sudden fever, especially if it’s 101˚F or higher
  • A sore, red throat with white patches
  • A headache
  • Chills
  • A loss of appetite
  • Swollen lymph nodes in the neck
  • Trouble swallowing

When Should Strep Throat Be Treated?

If you have a sore throat that’s accompanied by a fever or one of the symptoms we’ve listed above, you likely have strep throat. If this is the case, medical experts suggest visiting your doctor or another healthcare provider within 48 hours to get treated. Antibiotics typically clear the bacteria out of your system within three to seven days.

If strep throat isn’t treated, however, it can cause serious health complications. If you believe you may have strep throat, visit our AFC center to get a rapid strep test for an accurate diagnosis, which will help you stay healthy this winter!

Potential Complications Caused By Untreated Strep Throat

  • Abscesses (infected pockets) in your throat
  • Infected lymph nodes in the neck
  • Middle ear infection
  • Sinus infection
  • Rheumatic fever, which can cause damage to the heart, joints, nervous system and skin. This is rare, and it occurs mainly in children ages 5 to 15.
  • Scarlet fever—a bright red, sandpaper-like rash that starts on the face and neck and spreads through the body; it can be caused by strep throat or strep skin infections.
  • Toxic shock syndrome—a rare but potentially life-threatening condition caused by strep bacteria releasing toxins into the body

Feeling less than your best? Don’t hesitate to visit our AFC center today to get the treatment you need to feel better!