Streptococcal bacteria are highly contagious bugs that can cause fever, sore throat, enlarged lymph nodes, fatigue, and red tonsils with white spots. Strep throat is caused most often by group A beta-hemolytic streptococcus, although groups C and G strep bacteria are known to infect the throat. Although sore throats caused by allergens, smoke, viruses, fungi and chronic postnasal drip have symptoms such as an unpleasant, scratchy throat and heal without antibiotics, some infections like strep throat may need medical treatment in order to avoid complications. But how is strep throat spread?
Children between 5 and 10 years are at highest risk of infection, although adults can get it also. For an unknown reason, children under 3 years of age are less prone to getting strep throat. Knowing how is strep throat spread can lead to effective prevention methods. The bacteria can spread through contact with droplets from an infected person’s sneeze or cough, through hand to hand contact, kissing and even if you drink from the same glass or eat from the same plate as the sick person. Some cases of sore throat have been reported after contact with sores from group A strep skin infections.
This illness is most common in late fall and early spring. Exposure to irritants such as cigarette smoke can increase the likelihood of catching the bacteria and prolong the course of the disease. If someone in your family is sick, there is a high chance you will get it also because it spreads when healthy people come in contact with someone who has it. Besides the fact that you can get strep throat by direct contact with fluids from the nose or saliva, most people get it from casual contact. It is important to avoid using the same straws, forks or spoon as the infected family member. However, after the patient has been on antibiotics for 24 hours, the disease is no longer contagious.
If you get strep throat you will start to feel sick within 5 days. In this period, you are also contagious. As a result, a crowded environment such as a nursing home, dormitory or schools makes it easier for the bacteria to spread. Scientists wondered how is strep throat spread so fast in these environments. They discovered that food, especially milk products can also carry the bug and cause an infection. It can also live on water faucets, doorknobs and other personal objects. If you touch an infected object and then touch your mouth, eyes or nose you can become infected.