thermometerWinter is a perilous season for two reasons: wild weather and the prevalence of different illnesses. Fortunately, for us Southerners, we generally don’t need to concern ourselves with mega-blizzards, such as Winter Storm Jonas, which ravaged several mid-Atlantic states last weekend. However, we still have to cope with the numerous illnesses floating around all throughout the winter. These include the common cold, influenza, norovirus and strep throat. The difference of these illnesses can be relatively difficult to tell apart, especially considering the similarity of their symptoms. They all differ on a biological level, though.

Strep throat is a bacterial infection triggered by the bacteria, Streptococcus. This bacteria will inhabit either the throat or nasal passage, and then spread to other people through its hosts’ coughing or sneezing. When the body coughs or sneezes, contagious water droplets containing Streptococcus are expelled, leaving objects touched by the bacteria a possible carrier of strep.

Common symptoms for strep throat include:

  • High Fever (usually exceeding 100.5°F)
  • Flu-like Symptoms
    • Headache
    • Light-Headedness
    • Nausea
    • Coughing
  • Sore Throat (aggravated by coughing or swallowing)
  • Swollen Tonsils & Lymph Nodes

To diagnose strep, sometimes all a physician needs to do is examine the roof of a patient’s mouth. If there are red streaks, it means the patient has strep. However, there isn’t always visual evidence of strep. In these cases, physicians will administer a strep test, which just requires a swabbing of the throat.

At American Family Care, we administer strep throat tests on a walk-in basis. With our on-site lab, we have the ability to return our patients’ results promptly and accurately. We can also prescribe any medication to treat strep if our physicians deem it necessary. Most people can combat the infection on their own without medicine, but occasionally our physicians will prescribe antibiotics to expedite the healing process.

To receive a strep test, visit us any day of the week – no appointment necessary. To speak with one of our medical professionals, call us at 770.200.1220.

We look forward to helping make your family’s winter strep-free!