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Strep Throat

Shoham Medical Group

Pediatrician & Adolescent Medicine Physician located in San Fernando Valley, CA

When your child has a sore throat, it can be concerning not to know whether or not it’s due to strep. Steven C. Shoham, MD, and his team at Shoham Medical, located in Granada Hills, California, offer a rapid strep test that can set your mind at ease or get treatment started quickly. For a same-day appointment or to evaluate your child’s sore throat, call or book an appointment online.

Strep Throat Q & A

What is strep throat?

Strep throat is a condition that causes a sore, irritated throat. About one-third of all sore throats are due to bacteria called group A streptococcus. Commonly called strep, these bacteria can live in your body after symptoms have gone away.

This is why many children who get strep throat may have it more than once and may seem very sensitive to catching it again. Symptoms of the strep infection may return when they are exposed or when their immune system is compromised for some reason.

What are the symptoms of strep throat?

While a sore throat is the most common symptom of group A streptococcus, your child may have symptoms in addition to a sore throat, or may not have a sore throat at all.

Other symptoms of the strep infection include:

  • Headache
  • Fever
  • Fine rash
  • Body aches
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • White streaks on the tonsils
  • White or red spots on the roof of mouth or back of the throat
  • Swollen and red tonsils
  • Enlarged or tender lymph nodes

If your child has a sore throat or any of these symptoms, it is important that they have an evaluation, especially if they have a history of strep.

Is strep throat contagious?

Strep throat is highly contagious. If anyone in your home has strep, it is important to take precautions to avoid spreading the infection. A child or adult with strep could be contagious for up to three weeks after they have symptoms.

Strep spreads through:

  • Sneezing
  • Coughing
  • Touching one another

Because strep bacteria live in the nose and mouth, it is important for someone with strep to cover their mouth during coughing and sneezing and wash their hands after coughing or sneezing.

Strep is not the cause of all sore throats. A rapid strep test, which takes only about five minutes, confirms a diagnosis of strep infection. If the strep test is positive, your doctor may order an antibiotic. If your strep test is negative, your pediatrician may order a throat culture to rule out other causes of your child’s sore throat. This test takes two to five days to get back.

If you suspect your child may have strep throat, call or schedule an appointment with Shoham Medical today.