It’s not uncommon to see What’s Going Around this time of year, but AdventHealth Centra Care physicians say that the number of cases of strep throat that have been diagnosed are in the hundreds this week.
Strep is most often found in children between the ages of 5 and 15, and while anyone can develop the condition, Centra Care physicians say that adults account for 50% of the cases that were recently diagnosed at their centers. So, if you have a sore throat, fever or pain swallowing, there's a good chance it's strep.
Strep is caused by a bacteria. Unlike a typical sore throat that is caused by virus, strep throat is most often remedied with prescription antibiotics. The infection is easily spread by person-to-person contact with nasal secretions or saliva. It takes 2 - 5 days after being exposed to the bacteria that causes strep to experience symptoms.
Symptoms of strep usually begin suddenly. The sore throat can range from mild to severe and may be accompanied by other symptoms including:
- Fever that begins suddenly
- Red throat, sometimes with white patches
- General discomfort or ill feeling
- Loss of appetite
- Tender, swollen lymph nodes in the neck
- Difficulty swallowing
Only a physician can diagnose strep by examining you and conducting tests. Since antibiotics should only be taken for bacterial infections, Centra Care can administer a simple test that will let you know in five minutes if you have strep.