Strep Throat in Children

A practicing family doctor with decades of experience, Dr. Lloyd Takao treats patients in Orinda, California. In addition to providing routine care during checkups, Lloyd Takao, MD, sees patients when they complain of symptoms such as a sore throat.

There are many reasons why a person might get a sore throat. While some causes of sore throats are relatively minor, other causes, such as strep throat, might require medical treatment. Named after group A Streptococcus, strep throat is a common condition, particularly among children. It is contagious and is typically spread by such means as coughing, sneezing, and sharing a drink with someone who has the infection.

When a person becomes infected with group A Streptococcus bacteria, he or she generally experiences a severe sore throat, fever, and body aches, among other symptoms. Red spots might appear in the person’s mouth, and the tonsils might appear swollen. If strep throat is suspected, a doctor can perform a throat culture on the patient to test for the presence of the strep bacteria. In our office, we perform two simultaneous tests with one cotton swab. One test immediately tells us in 5 minutes if we have a positive result for Strep and the other is a confirmatory 24 hour culture result we read the next day. If the sore throat is, in fact, caused by strep, the physician usually prescribes a course of antibiotics to decrease the duration of the infection.

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