When you or your child has a sore throat, it's important to know if the streptococcal virus that causes strep throat is to blame. Samir Khalil, MD, of Family Care, located in Paterson, New Jersey, is experienced at the diagnosis and treatment of strep throat, a very contagious virus that needs treatment as soon as possible. For a strep test and treatment of sore throat, call or book an appointment online.
Strep throat is a common condition that causes a sore, scratchy throat. Bacteria called group A streptococcus (or strep) is the cause for about one-third of sore throats in adults and children.
Strep resides in the mouth and nose, so it is transmitted easily when an infected person sneezes, coughs, or touches someone else. The bacteria continue to live in the body, even after symptoms are gone. This is the reason that once you have strep throat, you are at a higher risk for getting it again.
Strep throat is highly contagious, especially for children and those with compromised immune systems.
When symptoms are present, you are more likely to spread the infection; however, strep bacteria can stay active for up to three weeks. Precautions should be taken if you or anyone else in your house has strep throat, including:
If you or your child has strep throat, you should avoid contact with others, especially very young children, very old people, or people who are chronically ill.
The most common symptom of group A streptococcus is a sore throat. Your sore throat may vary in severity to very mild to severe, and you may have other symptoms as well, including:
The strep bacteria does not cause all sore throats, so Dr. Khalil performs a strep test in the Family Care office if he suspects you or your child may have strep throat. This is a simple swab test that gives fast, definitive results while you wait.
If you do test positive for strep, Dr. Khalil may prescribe antibiotics. If you do not test positive for strep throat, he may suggest over-the-counter medications or have you gargle with a salt water solution to help relieve your sore throat.
Dr. Khalil offers same-day sick visits and can provide work or school excuses, if needed, to avoid exposure to classmates or co-workers.
If you suspect you or your child has strep throat, call or book an appointment online with Family Care.