Strep Throat

Strep throat is one of the most common illnesses in college students. Here are some important #SHACFacts to keep you from being infected with strep. 

Facts

Strep throat is a highly contagious infection of the throat and tonsils caused by Streptococcus bacteria.  It can be transmitted by direct person-to-person contact, usually by coughing or sneezing. Strep throat is a mild infection but can have very painful symptoms.  

Symptoms

  • Sore throat lasting longer than 48 hours 
  • Redness and swelling of the throat 
  • White or yellowish patches on tonsils 
  • Tender and swollen lymph glands on the sides of your neck 
  • Difficulty swallowing 
  • Fever 
  • Headache 
  • Nausea or vomiting 

Treatment

  • If you believe you have strep throat, you should visit a doctor to get tested
  • A rapid strep test is administered by swabbing of the throat
  • If the test appears negative but strep is still suspected, your doctor might take a culture swab to see if it grows bacteria
  • Strep throat can then be treated with antibiotics
  • Antibiotics should be taken for about 10 days or as directed. If treatment is ended too early, some bacteria may be left alive and can cause you to get sick again.

Self Care

Painful symptoms can be eased by: 

  • Taking ibuprofen or Tylenol  
  • Gargling with warm salt water 
  • Drinking warm liquids 
  • Sucking on an ice pop or a lozenge 
  • Getting a lot of rest 

Prevention

  • Always make sure to cover your mouth when coughing or sneezing
  • Wash your hands frequently with soap and water
  • Don’t share eating or drinking utensils

Why spread awareness about strep throat? 

Strep throat can be spread very easily especially in close quarters such as dormitories and classrooms. Symptoms can be very painful and can lead to days of missed school and work. Complications can lead to the infection spreading to other areas of the body.

—Emily Hock

Source: Centers for Diesase Control and Prevention