Strep throat definition
Healthbeautyidea.com – Strep throat is inflammation of the throat from infection with Streptococcus pyogenes or Streptococcus group A. The disease is most common in children.
Inflammation in the throat due to Streptococcus bacteria can make the throat feel stuck, dry, sore, and itchy. However, the symptoms of a sore throat shown are usually more severe than strep throat due to a viral infection.
Therefore, medical treatment is needed through antibiotic drugs to cure this disease. If strep throat is left, the disease can lead to dangerous complications such as rheumatic fever and inflammation of the kidneys.
Strep throat symptoms
Symptoms will appear about 2 to 5 days after contracting the bacteria. Symptoms can last longer compare to strep throat due to a viral infection.
According to the CDC, strep throat does not cause symptoms such as cough, stuffy nose, hoarseness or watery eyes as in those due to viral infections.
In general, inflammation in the throat due to strep throat can cause symptoms such as:
- Sore throat
- Fever and can reach 38.3°C
- Sore throat when swallowing or talking
- Reddish rashes
- Stomach aches
- Loss of appetite and sometimes nausea
- Muscle pain and stiffness in the joints
- The tonsils may become red, swollen, and appear white patches or pus lines (tonsillitis)
- Red spots on the palate
- Lymph nodes in the neck swollen
Symptoms of a reddish rash can indicate that strep throat is related to dengue fever. However, the bacteria that cause strep throat can infect the body, but cause no symptoms at all.
People without symptoms remain carriers of the bacteria and can still pass it on to others.
What causes strep throat?
Strep throat is caused by a bacterial infection called as Streptococcus pyogenes or also called Streptococcus group A. Streptococcus bacteria are contagious and can be spread through droplets when a person with the infection sneezes or coughs, or through food or drink.
Risk factors for strep throat
You can also get bacteria from doorknobs or other surfaces and accidentally move them to your mouth, nose, or eyes. Some other factors that increase the risk of infection, such as:
Strep throat most often appears in children.
Although this condition can occur at any time, the disease tends to circulate in the winter and early spring. Bacteria can multiply anywhere in groups of people who are in close contact.
How is strep throat spread?
Strep throat is transmitted in the same way as an ARI (Acute respiratory infection). If a person who has Strep throat sneezes or coughs, droplets containing bacteria will be scattered and can stick to various surfaces including the hands. If then the hand enters the mouth or nose, infection may occur. Therefore, close the sneeze using folding elbows and wash your hands well.
The incubation period (from the moment bacteria enter the body until symptoms begin to appear) is about 1-3 days.
Strep throat diagnosis
When your doctor examines your child, he or she may notice a reddened throat and tonsils that can be accompanied by pus, as well as feeling enlarged and painful front neck lymph nodes. Sometimes you can also see red spots on the roof of the mouth, all you need to know about strep throat (uvula, an organ that hangs from the palate between two tonsils ) that are red and swollen, or a red rash on the skin that is palpable like sandpaper.
To facilitate the diagnosis of Strep throat, especially in countries with limited resources, a method called Centor score was developed. This method uses some symptoms and findings on examination to determine how likely a person is to have Strep throat.
First step: Determine the total score by the following criteria:
- Fever > 38 C: 1 point
- No cough: 1 point
- Swollen and painful neck lymph nodes: 1 point
- Tonsils that are swollen or purulent: 1 point
- Age 3-14 years old: 1 point
- Age 15-44 years old: 0 point.
- Age ≥ 45 years old: -1 point.
Step two: Determine the next handling according to the total score:
|Total score||Percentage of strep throat odds*||Recommended handling|
|0||1-2.5%||No need for further tests, no need for antibiotics|
|2||11-17%||Throat swab culture or rapid antigen test, start antibiotics if test positive|
|≥ 4||51-53%||Throat swab cultures are still sent, but antibiotics can be started based on clinical assessment without waiting for the results of the culture.|
*For example, interpretation, 5-10 out of 100 people with a total score of 1 may have Strep throat.
It is important to know that antibody screening such as ASTO (anti streptolysin O) or anti DNase B is not used to diagnose strep throat because the levels will only rise 3-8 weeks after infection and can persist in the blood for months after infection. Antibody testing can only confirm a new infection if done 2 times (at the beginning of [acute] pain and about 4 weeks after (convalescence) by showing a meaningful increase.