Strep throat is a highly contagious bacterial throat infection most common between the ages of 5 and 15. However, it affects people of all ages even in later adulthood, especially if they have a weak immune system. If left untreated, the strep bacteria can cause serious complications such as rheumatic fever and kidney inflammation. This is why it is extremely important that you contact your doctor as soon as you think you’re getting strep throat.
The main symptoms are high fever, a sudden sore throat, swollen, sore glands in the neck and red or white patches on the throat. The standard treatment involves the use of antibiotics which play a very important role in getting this bacterial infection under control. The antibiotics will stop the bacterial disease from spreading to other people and also stop the bacteria from spreading to other parts of the body. Even if you are on antibiotics you can still be contagious for up to two more days until they kick in. The best way to avoid this bacterial infection is by knowing what increases your risk of getting strep throat. Below are the main risk factors of catching strep throat:
What increases your risk of getting strep throat the most is someone in your home or around you is young and has gotten the infection. Children between the ages of 5 and 15 are more susceptible to strep throat. This illness is less common among adults; but you can still get this bacterial infection especially if you have kids if your own. If a child develops strep throat that can other symptoms like headaches, stomach aches, and even vomiting. Children are usually getting this disease from other children at school. When the kids go back to school they touch everything then touch other kids and their own face; that’s how they are spreading it from one another.
They best way to keep your children from getting it is talking to them about keeping good hygiene at school. This would include washing their hands, keeping their hands to themselves, and lastly cleaning any cuts they may get in school. Go see your child’s pediatrician to give them an annual flu shot to help prevent other illnesses from spreading.
Time Of Year:
Strep throat tends to circulate in the colder seasons, although it can occur anytime of the year. Most people suffer from strep throat during winter, late fall and early spring. Outbreaks occur most often during the school year, when large groups of children are gathered in close quarters. The cold weather can trigger many illnesses just by breathing in that cold air. When you breathe in all that cold air it can dry your throat out also causing bacteria to start growing. Make sure even if you are in the cold that you are bundled up very good with thick warm clothes.
Recently people have been getting strep throat in the summer. We call it a summer cold where you are just at your worst. Your hot and you feel like your brain will explode, but it is all caused by the same bacterial infection of strep throat. Even in the summer you need to keep your body at it’s best and take care of yourself.
The strep bacteria easily spread through contact with an infected person with the strep throat bacteria. You can get infected from shaking hands, kissing, eating from the same plate or drinking from the same glass as the sick person. Strep throat can pass through the nasal secretions and saliva if a person does not cover his or her mouth while sneezing or coughing.
It is really important to have good hygiene especially during sick season. If you sneeze in your hand or cough on your body you should definitely wash your hands. Washing your hands for 30 seconds or the equivalent of singing happy birthday or the ABC song will kill all of the germs. Male sure if you are feeling sick to have tissues with you so you aren’t wiping snot on your sleeves. Make sure you are not sharing napkins or tissues because even contact through clothes or cloths can make other people sick.
Exposure to Irritants:
Exposure to irritants such as cigarette smoke is another risk factor. The smoke irritates the throat tissue causing redness in the throat; making you more susceptible to the bacteria infection known as strep throat. When you continue to smoke it will prolong your sickness and even make you sicker while taking your antibiotics. Try to avoid breathing other people’s smoke and stop smoking yourself, especially in colder seasons.
Sick Family Members:
Knowing what increases your risk of contracting this illness can also protect your family. If there is a sick family member who has been diagnosed with strep throat, there is a high chance someone in the family will get it also. Especially if your child has the strep throat you as a party will most likely get it because you need to take care of your babies. Besides the fact that the bacteria spreads through direct contact with the droplets from an infected person, a person can get it from infected objects such as door knobs and tables. If someone in your family has strep throat, avoid using the same eating utensils and limit the contact as much as possible. After 24 hours of antibiotic treatment, the disease is no longer contagious.
Lysol is one of the best cleaning products of the market that will kill 99.9% of germs on contact. With strep throat season in full season you will need to kill the germs in your home before they spread to other rooms and other people. Clean the door knobs, fridge, and toilet handle with Lysol killing the bacterial infection.
Strep throat thrives when people are in close contact around certain surroundings and social settings. These include day care centers, hospitals, schools, and family gatherings make it easier for the bacteria to spread. Nursing homes, playgrounds, dormitories or open offices are also high-risk surroundings. Being aware of what increases your risk of getting infected can help you limit exposure to the bacterial infection.
Also carry a small bottle of hand sanitizer in a bad or purse. That way if you are in a high risk germ area you will always have a product that will kill 99.9% of germs when on contact. It may sting if you have a cut on your hands but it one of the main things that will keep you feeling well this winter during sick season. I suggest buying some for every member in your family especially the kids who go to school who can use the hand sanitizer before lunch time.