Strep throat is short for a Streptococcal bacterial infection in the throat. When it affects the back of the throat it’s called “pharyngitis” or it may be a result of infected tonsils, or “tonsillitis.” Symptoms include a severe sore throat, painful swallowing, usually a fever over 101°F, swollen tonsils and lymph nodes in the neck, and white or yellow spots on a reddened back of the throat. Strep throat is highly contagious, with about a two to five day incubation period. It can be diagnosed through a physical examination and a throat culture.
Strep throat is treated with antibiotics and usually resolves in three to seven days, although the healing time can take a couple of weeks. It is important to diagnose a Strep infection and begin treatment as soon as possible to avoid complications and prevent its spread to others. Keep in mind that a “Rapid Strep Test” is a throat culture that is only testing for a specific and common type called “Strep Group A”. A negative result does not necessarily mean there is no infection, it just means it’s not Strep A.
One of the main indications for a tonsillectomy is having recurrent infections several times a year. If you are frequently sick and plagued by throat infections, contact our office to see if tonsillectomy is right for you.