Strep throat or streptococcal pharyngitis is a type of pharyngitis caused by group A streptococcus (GAS). It is the cause of 5-15% sore throats in adults and 37% of sore throats in children. This highly contagious infection is spread through contact with an infected person or object, even in the strep throat incubation period.
The main symptoms are a sore throat, fever greater than 38 °C, enlarged lymph nodes and white or yellow spots on the tonsils and throat. Other symptoms include headache, muscle pain, abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting. In rare cases patients will develop a scarlatiniform rash or palatal petechiae. However, if you experience cold symptoms such as red eyes, a runny nose, sneezing and coughing, it is unlikely that you have strep throat.
Diagnosis and Complications:
In order to place a definitive diagnosis, your doctor will order a throat culture. This is where the doctor will take a qtip swab of your throat. They wipe it on a disk and put it in a machine that helps it spead up its growth process. Based on the result, you will receive a treatment plan that usually includes antibiotics.
In some cases, the treatment can be decided based on the symptoms. In highly likely cases, the treatment is started before the culture is ready in order to prevent complications and speed recovery. It is important to seek treatment for this illness, because it can cause serious complications if left untreated, including scarlet fever, toxic shock syndrome, rheumatic fever, PANDAS syndrome, glomerulonephritis, abscesses, cervical lymphadenitis and mastoiditis. This can really only happen in worst case scenarios.
The strep throat incubation period can vary from person to person. Usually the incubation period lasts between one to five days, meaning that a person who was exposed to the strep bacteria can manifest symptoms after one, two, three, four or five days. Most people develop the illness three days after contact. An individual can be contagious and infect other people even in the absence of symptoms. However, they are no longer contagious 24 hours after receiving an antibiotic treatment. Without antibiotics, a patient can be contagious for up to three weeks.
During the strep throat incubation period, most people are not aware they have been contaminated. The easiest way to contact this disease is by exposure to the droplets containing the bacteria. An infected person who sneezes, coughs or kisses another can pass the bacteria before knowing he or she is infected. Because the streptococcus can survive on surfaces such as door knobs, toothbrushes and other personal objects, a person can get it by touching those surfaces and then the nose or mouth.
Lysol disinfectant spray can kill germs on contact. When this spray is sprayed on surfaces it can kill 99.9% of germs and will keep your house sickness free. Make sure when you are cleaning after someone who has been sick you will want to spray all surfaces you can see and touch with the Lysol spray. Remember door knobs, fridge handle, toilet handle, are all things people forget about and that’s where the germs fester and make other people sick.
After the strep throat incubation period, a person may develop mild or severe symptoms. Those who do not experience any of the symptoms described above after infection are called carriers. After 24 hours of treatment, a person is no longer contagious and will begin to feel better. It is not uncommon for people on antibiotics to stop following the treatment when they notice an improvement. This can have dangerous complications such as post-infection heart problems.