What is strep throat?

Strep throat is a bacterial infection that causes a sore throat and pain when swallowing.

Signs & symptoms of strep throat
The most obvious symptom is a sore throat accompanied by a fever. Strep may also cause white splotches in the throat that are visible with the naked eye. If you suspect a person has strep, a doctor can take a throat culture to confirm the diagnosis.

Is strep throat dangerous?
Not usually. Strep throat occasionally causes kidney damage, but this is unusual. There is also a rare condition known as rheumatic heart disease in which a child’s immune system mistakenly attacks the heart in its attempt to fight off the infection, but antibiotics such as penicillin can guard against this.

Treatment for strep throat
Strep throat is treated with plenty of rest and a course of antibiotics. Keep in mind that kids can still spread strep for 24 hours after having started on antibiotics, so keep them away from other children.