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Strep Throat

What is strep throat?

Strep throat is a bacterial infection that causes inflammation and pain in the throat. This common condition is caused by group A Streptococcus bacteria. Not all sore throats are caused by strep throat. A lab test is performed to make this determination.

What are the signs and symptoms?

  • Sore throat, usually starting quickly
  • Severe pain when swallowing
  • A fever of 101 degrees or above
  • Tiny red spots on the soft or hard palate—the area at the back of the roof of the mouth
  • Body aches
  • Red and swollen tonsils, sometimes with white patches or streaks of pus
  • Headache
  • Nausea and/or vomiting
  • Swollen lymph nodes in the neck
  • Rash

How is strep throat spread?

Strep throat is spread through direct transfer of mouth and throat secretions to another susceptible person through kissing or sharing beverage containers.

How do you prevent strep throat? 

Strep throat can be prevented by washing hands frequently and avoiding sharing eating utensils, like forks or cups. There is no vaccine to prevent strep throat.

How do you diagnose and treat strep throat?

Students diagnosed with strep throat are treated with appropriate antibiotics and followed by the Student Health Center with a follow-up visit or telephone contact. Symptoms usually improve in 48-72 hours after treatment is initiated.