How long does strep throat last?

Strep throat affects over 500,000 people in the United States every year. It is caused by group A Streptococcus bacteria, which target the throat and tonsils. Strep throat can cause a range of uncomfortable symptoms and is generally easily diagnosed. In this article, you will learn more about this common illness by understanding the symptoms, treatments, and frequently asked questions about the illness. All of which will answer, how long strep throat lasts.

What is strep throat?

Strep throat is an infection of the throat and tonsils caused by a particular bacterium, known as streptococcus pyogenes. This bacteria can cause uncomfortable symptoms such as sore throat, fever, swollen lymph nodes, and white patches on the tonsils or roof of the mouth. In some cases, people may experience nausea, vomiting, and even a rash on their chest or stomach.

How is strep throat transmitted?

Strep throat is highly contagious, spread by contact with saliva or nasal secretions of someone who has the infection. It can also be passed through sharing contaminated items such as utensils, towels, or drinking glasses.

What Does Strep Throat Look Like?

Strep throat can often be identified by the presence of white or yellow spots on the back of the throat and swollen lymph nodes. Additionally, those with strep throat may experience a fever, fatigue, headache, and difficulty swallowing. Painful blisters may also form in some cases.

How is strep throat diagnosed?

A throat swab or rapid antigen test may be used to diagnose strep throat. A throat swab involves rubbing a sterile cotton swab on the back of the throat, then sending it to a laboratory for testing. The rapid antigen test is quicker and can detect antibodies in a matter of minutes.

How is strep throat treated?

Strep throat is usually treated with antibiotics. To reduce the severity of symptoms, people with strep throat may be advised to rest and drink plenty of fluids. Over-the-counter medications such as ibuprofen can also help reduce fever and pain associated with the infection.

How long does strep throat take to heal?

For most people, strep throat should begin to improve within two to three days of starting antibiotics. Complete recovery is expected within seven to ten days. If symptoms persist for more than two weeks, it may be necessary to see a doctor again for further testing or adjustment in treatment.

Strep Throat FAQ

Will strep throat eventually go away by itself?

No, strep throat will not typically go away on its own. It is important to seek medical attention and start antibiotics as soon as possible in order to reduce the severity of symptoms and prevent further complications.

What cures strep throat fast?

Antibiotics are the most effective way to cure strep throat as quickly as possible. Over-the-counter medications and home remedies may provide relief from symptoms but will not cure the infection itself.

Other sore throats don’t require medication, so why is strep throat different?

Strep throat is caused by a particular type of bacteria and requires antibiotics in order to be fully cured. Other sore throats may have different causes and may not need medical treatment. This is fundamentally the reason for seeking medical care if you believe you have contracted strep throat.

Can you get strep throat multiple times?

Yes, it is possible to contract strep throat more than once. This is especially true if preventive measures such as handwashing and avoiding contact with those who have the infection are not taken. If you do get strep throat again, it may be necessary to see a doctor for different antibiotics or further treatment options.

Ultimately, how long strep throat lasts depends on how quickly the infection is detected and how faithfully treatment and preventive measures are adhered to. Strep throat can lead to long-term complications if left untreated, so it is important to seek medical attention as soon as possible. By following doctor’s orders and utilizing preventative measures, you can reduce the severity of symptoms and rapidly improve healing time.

How can you prevent further cases of strep throat?

The best way to prevent contracting or spreading strep throat is by diligently following good hygiene practices and avoiding contact with those who have the infection. This includes washing your hands with soap and water, using a tissue when coughing or sneezing, and disinfecting frequently-used items such as utensils, drinking glasses, and towels. Additionally, if you have been diagnosed with strep throat, it is important to stay home until the infection has cleared. This can help stop the spread of germs and reduce the risk of others contracting strep throat as well. By following these guidelines, you can greatly reduce your chances of getting or spreading the infection.

Can you get strep throat without tonsils?

Yes, you can get strep throat even if you don’t have tonsils. Strep throat is caused by a type of bacteria, not the presence or absence of tonsils. Therefore, people with and without tonsils can contract strep throat and experience symptoms such as fever, sore throat, headache, and swollen lymph nodes.

How long is a person contagious?

A person is considered contagious for up to 24 hours after taking antibiotics. However, it is important to note that this does not necessarily mean the infection has been completely treated and all symptoms have subsided. In some cases, strep throat can take more than a week for full recovery even after the antibiotics have kicked in. Therefore, it is important to follow the doctor’s orders and complete the full course of treatment in order to reduce the chance of relapse or further complications.

What is The Relationship Between Strep Throat and Covid?

The relationship between strep throat and Covid-19 is uncertain. There has been research that suggests strep bacteria may increase susceptibility to Covid-19 however, evidence still needs to be collected before any definitive statement can be made. For the time being, it is best to practice safety measures such as wearing a face mask and maintaining social distancing to reduce the risk of contracting both illnesses.

When is it time to seek Urgent Care?

Our Urgent Care is perfectly equipped to deal with your symptoms of strep throat. We provide convenient and affordable care with an in-house lab to quickly diagnose a positive strep throat case. Provide prescriptions for antibiotics, and expert advice to reduce and prevent further transmission. We even take same-day appointments, further reducing your wait times! Skip the wait and appointment-only physicians and let University Urgent Care get you back to your best health.

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