How to Identify and Treat Strep Throat
“Swallowing razor blades or knives”, “not my usual sore throat”, “horrible sore throat and no other symptoms” – these are all things that we hear when patients describe their symptoms of Strep Throat. Strep Throat is an abbreviation for Streptococcal Pharyngitis, an infection caused by a specific bacteria known as Group A Streptococcus Pyogenes. Untreated Strep Throat can cause Rheumatic Fever, a serious inflammatory disease which can lead to problems with the heart, joints, brain, and skin. One of the most feared complications of Rheumatic Fever is damage to the heart’s valves which could require valve replacement or repair. Timely diagnosis and treatment with an antibiotic such as Amoxicillin or Penicillin can greatly reduce the chances of Rheumatic Fever. Other complications of Strep Throat include kidney problems (post-streptococcal glomerulonephritis), scarlet fever (a rough, sandpapery, rash on the trunk), and PANDA syndrome which are neurologic and psychiatric problems which can develop after a strep infection.