It can be difficult to differentiate strep throat from a sore throat caused by a virus. On the other hand, there are some serious complications of strep throat which is why it is vital to consult a doctor if an individual is suspected with one.
Strep throat can trigger a variety of symptoms that range from minor nuisances to serious long-term health issues that can affect the life of the individual.
The acute symptoms of strep throat can persist from anywhere from 12 hours up to 5 days after an individual has been exposed to Streptococcus bacteria. It is vital to manage strep throat by consulting a doctor. A strep test is performed and a course of antibiotics is prescribed to prevent long-term complications such as rheumatic fever.
Usual indications of strep throat
- Red, sore throat
- Enlarged tonsils
- White patches on the tonsils or in the rear of the throat
- Enlarged lymph nodes
- Stiff joints
- Body aches
Symptoms that entail immediate medical care
- Difficulty breathing
- Difficulty swallowing
- Persistent drooling
- Bluish or gray-colored lips
Even though it is vital to be well aware of these symptoms, you have to fully understand the way most of the long-term complications occur. Though strep throat is not managed with antibiotics, the immune system can deal with the condition on its own.
Take note that this is the time when serious issues including heart problems, kidney damage and scarlet fever occur. Once strep throat is not treated with antibiotics, the immune system can oftentimes beat the illness on its own. Rheumatic fever and kidney damage are believed to be caused by a strange phenomenon where the strep bacteria cause the immune system to behave erroneously and attack its own organs. Scarlet fever is triggered by an erythrotoxin generated by the bacteria. This is why it is vital to manage streptococcus bacteria with antibiotics until fully destroyed.
Difference between strep throat and cold virus
Determining which of these two is the cause of the symptoms is not always possible. Nevertheless, there are key differences that you should be familiar with.
When it comes to strep throat, it typically involves a severe sore throat that is not accompanied by runny nose, congestion, coughing and sneezing. Nevertheless, the only way to know for sure if an individual has strep throat is to consult a doctor and undergo rapid strep test or throat culture.
These kinds of complications of strep throat often occur among children who develop the condition without knowledge of their parents, especially if the case of illness is mild. Parents might not know that the child is sick or simply mistake strep throat for a mild cold. If the individual experiences appetite loss, fever or difficulty swallowing, it is vital to bring him/her to a doctor right away.