Strep Throat Surge in Minnesota
Strep throat is a common bacterial infection that affects the throat and tonsils. It is caused by a type of bacteria called Streptococcus pyogenes, also known as group A streptococcus. Strep throat is highly contagious and can be spread through contact with infected people or surfaces. It is most common in children and teenagers, but it can also affect adults.
Symptoms of strep throat include a sore throat, difficulty swallowing, swollen lymph nodes, fever, and headache. If you or a loved one experiences these symptoms, it’s important to seek medical attention to determine the cause of the infection and receive appropriate treatment.
Strep throat is usually treated with antibiotics, such as penicillin or amoxicillin. Antibiotics are effective in treating strep throat because they kill the bacteria that causes the infection. In fact, treatment with antibiotics can reduce the duration of symptoms and prevent complications from the infection, such as rheumatic fever.
But why is strep throat treated with antibiotics, while other types of sore throats are not? The reason is that strep throat is caused by a bacterial infection, while most other sore throats are caused by a virus. Antibiotics are not effective in treating viral infections, so they are not prescribed for viral sore throats. In fact, taking antibiotics unnecessarily can contribute to the development of antibiotic-resistant bacteria, which can be difficult to treat and pose a threat to public health.
It’s important to note that not all sore throats are strep throat. A doctor can perform a throat culture or a rapid strep test to determine if the infection is caused by group A streptococcus. If the test is positive, antibiotics are usually prescribed. If the test is negative, antibiotics are not necessary, and the infection will likely go away on its own within a few days.
In conclusion, strep throat is a common bacterial infection that can be effectively treated with antibiotics. If you or a loved one experiences symptoms of strep throat, seek medical attention to determine the cause of the infection and receive appropriate treatment. Remember, taking antibiotics unnecessarily can contribute to the development of antibiotic-resistant bacteria, so always follow your doctor’s instructions when taking antibiotics.
Watch this video from Fox9 on Feb 3rd, 2023.