Strep throat is a type of throat infection which generally tends to affect children in the age group of five to fifteen years. The condition is caused due to infection by a strain of Group A Streptococcus bacteria. Strep throat infection affects the pharynx as well as the tonsils.
Tonsils are a group of lymphoid tissues which are situated on both sides of the throat. Inflammation of the tonsils referred to as tonsillitis can also be caused due to strep bacterial infection. It is important to note that strep throat, sore throat, and tonsillitis are different disorders, even though they are often interchangeably used by individuals. Tonsillitis and sore throat are typically observed in individuals affected by strep throat.
A few studies have indicated that children who have has their tonsils removed are three times less likely to be affected by strep throat as compared to those who have not. However, it does not mean that children without tonsils cannot get affected by the bacterial infection. Removal of tonsils only decrease the rate of strep throat infections.
Symptoms of strep throat
It may be noted that sore throat can be caused due to viral infection. A strep throat bacterial infection which may be accompanied by sore throat may elicit the below listed signs and symptoms
- Unexpected onset of a sore throat
- Swollen tonsils
- Problems in swallowing
- Appetite loss
Causes of strep throat
Strep throat is caused due to infection by the Streptococcus pyogenes strain of bacteria. It may be noted that even though the condition is more common in children, it can affect people of all ages.
Treatment of strep throat
- Strep throat can be treated with varied antibiotic drugs.Children who are prone to strep throat infections can undergo tonsillectomy or surgical removal of tonsils to decrease the frequency of the strep infections.