Strep is the most common bacterial throat infection. Although it can occur in adults, strep throat is more common in children between ages 5 and 15. It can be harder to detect in younger children, because it can cause a runny nose and other symptoms that make it seem like a cold, says Valerie Riddle, M.D., an infectious-disease expert at the National Institutes of Health.

“If your child has severe throat pain, a fever above 100.4 degrees or swollen glands, you
should get medical attention right away,” advises Riddle. Children with strep also may experience nausea, vomiting and stomach pain.

To see whether your child has strep throat, the doctor will take a throat swab. If test results confirm strep, the doctor will prescribe antibiotics. After 24 hours of taking them, your child should no longer be contagious. He’ll likely begin feeling better within a couple of days, but to fully recover it’s important to finish all of the medicine.

Strep is highly contagious. Treat it quickly to prevent it from spreading to others. “Not only can the infection be transmitted, but there are potential complications from untreated strep throat,” she adds. These include ear infections, rheumatic fever and kidney problems.

— Source: National Institutes of Health

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