Strep throat -Symptoms, causes and other risk factors

Strep throat

If you suffer from strep throat, then you should know that this disease is contagious. A streptococcal bacteria which is type of bacteria is a reason why we have strep throat. [1] When you suffer from this disease, then you feel that your throat is scratchy and sore. You should treat this disease otherwise it can cause you serious complications such as rheumatic fever and kidney inflammation. If you get rheumatic fever, then you will have inflamed and painful joints which is a specific type of heart valve or rash damage. Children are having the biggest chances to get strep throat, but adults are not excluded from this group. [2] Children who are between five and fifteen years old are having the biggest chances of getting strep throat. When we have strep throat, then we are coughing and sneezing which can spread the infection from unhealthy to healthy person. If you have noticed that your child have signs and symptoms of strep throat, then you should talk with your doctor. He or she will make the tests that they need to know the correct information.

Symptoms of strep throat

It depends from some individual how severe strep throat they will have. Some people have a sore throat which is mild symptom of the strep throat. There are other people who have serious symptoms such as difficulty swallowing and fever. Here are the most common signs and symptoms of the strep throat:

  • Chills
  • A sudden fever especially if it is 1010F or higher
  • Swollen lymph nodes in the neck
  • A sore, red throat with white patches
  • Trouble swallowing
  • A headache
  • A loss of appetite
  • Rash
  • Body aches
  • Vomiting or nausea especially in younger children

You children can have many of the mentioned symptoms, but this does not mean that they have strep throat. The cause for the mentioned signs and symptoms can be caused from a viral infection or from other type of illness. The mentioned symptoms usually develop in 5 days or it depends from the exposure to the bacteria which are a reason for this kind of disease. If you have noticed difficulty swallowing; a sore throat that lasts longer than two days; difficulty breathing; a sore throat with white patches; a sore throat with a fine, sandpaper – like pink rash on your skin or dark, red splotches or spots on the tonsils or the top of the mouth, then you must visit your doctor. Your doctor will check your symptoms and he or she will examine your throat. Your doctor will check your neck if you have swollen lymph nodes and he or she will ask you if you have other symptoms. Your doctor may make you a rapid strep test in his office if he thinks that you suffer from strep throat. This test will show him if your condition is caused by germ, bacteria or a strep infection. After your doctor has made all the tests, he or she will give you the right medical treatment for your condition.

Strep throat

Causes of strep throat

Streptococcus pyogenes is bacteria which is the reason for the strep throat. Also this kind of bacteria is known as group A streptococcus. This kind of bacteria is contagious so you should avoid a contact with people who are affected with strep throat. If you share the same food or drink with the affected person, then you have big chances of getting strep throat. Also this kind of disease can spread when the sick person sneezes or coughs. A doorknob is the most common place from where you can get this kind of disease. [3] But also you can get this disease from other places and you can transfer them to your mouth and nose.

Risk factors: There are some factors which can increase your risk of getting strep throat such as

  • Young age: Children are having the biggest chances of getting strep throat. [2]
  • Time of year: This kind of disease can happen in every part of the year but mostly it can happen in early spring and late fall. This kind of bacteria can spread in the areas where people are having a close contact. [4]

Complications: This is not dangerous disease but it can leads to complications. In the most cases this kind of disease is treated with antibiotics. The strep throat causing bacteria can spread in other parts of your body and it can cause you infections in your skin, blood, tonsils, middle ear and sinuses. [5]


[1] University of Dundee. Preventing streptococci infections. Science Daily. 2019.

[2] La Jolla Institute for Immunology. Why your kid’s strep throat keeps coming back: A combination of genetic and immunological factors makes some children susceptible to the bacteria that cause strep throat. Science Daily. 2019.

[3] Eze UA, Nworie A, Ayeni JA, Simon A. Bacterial contamination of door handles/knobs in selected public conveniences in Abuja metropolis, Nigeria: A public health threat. Continental Journal of Medical Research. 2012;6(1):7-11.

[4] Martin JM. The mysteries of streptococcal pharyngitis. Current Treatment Options in Pediatrics. 2015;1(2):180–9.

[5] Spinks A, Glasziou PP, Del Mar CB. Antibiotics for sore throat. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. 2013;2013(11):CD000023.


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