If your child develops a persistent sore throat with visible white patches, they may have a condition known as strep throat. At Penguin Pediatrics PLLC in Ashburn, Virginia and Stone Ridge, Virginia, Umesh Kodu, MD, offers fast and accurate in-office strep throat testing. A positive test requires immediate treatment, such as antibiotics, to clear the infection and prevent additional medical complications. Find out more about treating strep throat by calling the office directly or using the online booking feature.
Strep throat is a contagious condition that results from a bacterial infection. The bacteria group A Streptococcus causes inflammation and soreness in the throat.
The infection spreads through coughing and sneezing, and your child may be at risk for developing strep throat through exposure to an infected person.
Strep throat affects people differently. In some cases, a child may only experience a mild sore throat and no other symptoms. However, strep throat can cause more serious symptoms, such as severe throat pain and difficulty swallowing.
Other symptoms of strep throat include:
Visible white patches may develop on the back of the throat.
If left untreated, strep throat can result in other serious medical conditions, such as ear infections, sinusitis, and rheumatic fever, an inflammatory disease that affects your heart and joints.
To confirm a diagnosis of strep throat, the team at Penguin Pediatrics PLLC performs a physical examination of your child’s throat and may check for swelling in the lymph nodes of their neck.
If they determine your child’s throat pain is due to strep throat, the team may order an in-office strep test. They use a large cotton swab to collect cells at the back of your child’s throat. The test can determine within a few minutes if your child is positive for bacteria.
Because strep throat is the result of a bacterial infection, the team at Penguin Pediatrics PLLC can effectively treat the condition with an antibiotic. It’s important that your child take the full course of antibiotics the team provides to clear the infection completely.
You can keep your child comfortable at home by providing plenty of liquids, including cold drinks and popsicles to help numb the throat. Warm tea with honey can also soothe the inflammation in the throat.
Over-the-counter pain relievers can reduce throat inflammation, and lozenges can help ease pain. Saltwater gargles can also help relieve throat discomfort in older children.
To confirm a strep throat diagnosis, schedule an evaluation online or by calling.