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Strep Throat Tips for Parents

Strep Throat Tips for Parents

We have been seeing a lot of strep throat over the last couple of weeks and we figured that you might like a little information on what this is and how we treat it.

Strep throat is caused by a bacteria called Streptococcus pyogenes. This is actually a fairly common bacteria, but it is also very contagious. The bacteria that cause strep throat likes to hang out in the nose and throat. So sneezing, coughing, or shaking hands can easily help the infection spread from one person to another. If one household member has strep throat, there is approximately a 25% chance of it spreading to other household contacts.

Symptoms of Strep Throat

Strep throat looks a lot like the common cold. The typical symptoms of strep throat include:

  • fever
  • a sore throat with painful swallowing
  • tonsils and the throat usually appear red and sometimes have white patches
  • headache
  • abdominal pain

Many of these symptoms are the same as the common cold; however, a cold typically has a cough and a runny nose, while strep throat does not.

Treatment for Strep Throat

The good news about strep throat is that it is pretty easy to treat. Pediatricians and other providers will likely use a penicillin antibiotic. Fortunately, there has never been a case of antibiotic resistance with this bacteria. If there is an allergy to penicillin medications, there are other antibiotics that we can use.

Of course, strep throat can make you or your child feel crummy, but the biggest reason we treat strep throat is due to the possibility that, if untreated, you can develop a condition called rheumatic fever. Rheumatic fever is the most common cause of acquired heart disease in adults over 25 years old.

Fun fact: Although anyone can get rheumatic fever, it is more common in school-age children—between the ages of 5-15 years old. It is very rare in children who are younger than 5 years old. Due to this, we do not routinely do strep testing on children who are younger than 3-4 years old.

If your child is having symptoms consistent with strep throat, contact your pediatrician in Gillette, Wyoming today.

Pediatricians in Gillette, Wyoming

This blog was written by the providers at the Campbell County Medical Group Pediatrics Clinic: Dr. Francesca McCaffrey, DO, MPH; Dr. Kyle Sabey, DO; and Val Amstadt, PA-C. The Clinic is located in the Main Clinic at 501 S. Burma Avenue in Gillette, Wyoming—on the south side of Campbell County Memorial Hospital. The providers are accepting new patients and are passionate about your child’s health and well-being. Same-day appointments are available. Call 307.688.3636 for an appointment.

Learn more about the pediatric services available in Gillette, Wyoming at www.cchwyo.org/peds.