REACH Health Newsletter

Fight Strep Throat

How Do I Get Strep?

Strep throat is an infection in the throat and tonsils caused by group A Streptococcus bacteria (called “group A strep”). Group A strep bacteria can also live in a person’s nose and throat without causing illness. The bacteria spread through contact with droplets after an infected person coughs or sneezes. If you touch your mouth, nose, or eyes after touching something with these droplets on it, you may become ill. If you drink from the same glass or eat from the same plate as a sick person, you could also become ill. It is also possible to get strep throat from touching sores on the skin caused by group A strep.

What Are the Symptoms of Strep?

Common Symptoms

The most common symptoms of strep throat include:

  • Sore throat, usually starts quickly and can cause pain when swallowing
  • A fever
  • Red and swollen tonsils, sometimes with white patches or streaks of pus
  • Tiny, red spots (petechiae) on the roof of the mouth (the soft or hard palate)
  • Swollen lymph nodes in the front of the neck

Other symptoms may include headache, stomach pain, nausea, or vomiting. Someone with strep throat may also have a rash known as scarlet fever( (also called scarlatina).

Strep throat symptoms typically do not include:

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Getting Well Fast

Antibiotics Get You Well Fast

Test results help your healthcare professional decide if you need antibiotics, which can:

  • Decrease the length of time you’re sick
  • Reduce your symptoms
  • Help prevent the spread of infection to others
  • Prevent more serious complications, such as tonsil and sinus infections, and acute rheumatic fever (a rare inflammatory disease that can affect the heart, joints, skin, and brain)

You should start feeling better in just a day or two after starting antibiotics. Call your healthcare professional if you don’t feel better after taking antibiotics for 48 hours. People with strep throat should stay home from work, school, or daycare until they no longer have a fever and have taken antibiotics for at least 24 hours so they don’t spread the infection to others.

Take the prescription exactly as your healthcare professional tells you. Don’t stop taking the medicine, even if you feel better, unless your healthcare professional tells you to stop taking it.

More Prevention Tips: Wash Those Hands

The best way to keep from getting strep throat is to wash your hands often. Also, avoid sharing eating utensils, like forks or cups. Anyone with a sore throat should wash their hands often and cover their mouth when coughing and sneezing. There is no vaccine to prevent strep throat.

REACH, let's keep those hands and the classrooms clean to prevent Strep.

Thank you,

Na'ama Malkah-Smith

Health Coordinator