Definition Strep throat is caused by Group A Streptococcus bacteria. It is the most common bacterial infection of the throat. Alternative Names Pharyngitis - streptococcal; Streptococcal pharyngitis Causes, incidence, and risk factors Strep throat is most common in children between age 5 and 15, although anyone can get it. Strep throat is spread by person-to-person contact with nasal secretions or saliva. It commonly spreads among family or household members.
Years ago, it was almost standard procedure for a child to have his or her tonsils removed, especially if the child suffered from sore throats and colds. The number of tonsillectomies began to decline in the sixties. The sore throats and colds, for the most part, disappeared as the child grew older, and tonsil removal was no longer deemed necessary.
Now, however, tonsillectomies are back in favor as a treatment for sleep apnea in children. As well as being a cause of sore throats and colds, enlarged tonsils block the air passages causing nighttime breathing problems. Other problems caused by enlarged tonsils are problems swallowing, fever and swollen glands.
What Are Tonsils?
Tonsils are small growths of tissue found on both sides at the back of the throat. They are meant to trap bacteria and produce antibodies to fight off infections.
Unfortunately, when tonsils become infected, they swell and cause even further problems, including sore throat and tonsillitis . If...
Definition A streptococcal screen is a test to detect group A streptococcus, the most common cause of strep throat . Alternative Names Rapid strep test How the test is performed The test requires a throat swab. It takes about 7 minutes. The swab is tested to identify group A streptococcus. How to prepare for the test There is no special preparation. Inform the health care provider if you are taking, or have recently taken, antibiotics. How the test will feel Your throat will be swabbed in the area of the tonsils. This may make you gag. Why the test is performed Your health care provider may order this test if you have signs of strep throat or if you have symptoms of pharyngitis (sore throat).
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