Common strep throat symptoms are a sore throat, nausea, vomiting, chills, and fever. In young children the symptoms may be markedly different and may only appear as a runny nose and/or swollen, painful lymph nodes in the neck.
Strep throat is the result of an infection with the bacterium of the Streptococcus species. The bacterium is responsible for many disease states but is typically found even in healthy individuals.
Strep infections of the heart and skin can occur but throat infections are most common. Autoimmune disorders (of the kidney, rheumatic fever) sometimes also occur following a strep infection.
Strep throat infection symptoms:
- sore throat
- increased heart rate
- swollen, painful lymph nodes in neck
- runny nose (in children)
- red and white patches on the tongue (in children)
Diagnosis is typically through physical examination and observation of symptoms and will include a rapid strep test from a throat swab sample. The rapid test can confirm diagnosis within a few hours.
An overnight culture of the throat swab sample is typically also performed to confirm the result of the rapid test.
Treatment is typically with antibiotics. Symptom relief (sore throat, headache, fever) can be achieved with off-the-shelf pain relievers (children should not take acetylsalicylic acid).