Symptoms and Signs of Strep Throat

Medical Author:
Medically Reviewed on 3/25/2022

Doctor's Notes on Strep Throat

Strep throat is actually a slang term for an infection caused by group A Streptococcus bacteria that results in a sore, inflamed throat. While strep throat is a common ailment, the majority of cases of sore throat are caused by viruses and not Streptococcus infections. Strep throat is very contagious and is spread by person-to-person contact with an infected individual.

The most common symptoms of strep throat are

Infants and young children may also exhibit fussiness, enlarged lymph nodes (“swollen glands”), poor appetite, and a thick nasal discharge.

Associated symptoms can include:

  • redness of the back of the throat and tonsils,
  • white or yellow spots on the tonsils,
  • small red punctate (“dots”) areas on the roof of the mouth, and
  • a rash over the torso and groin areas.

What Is the Treatment for Strep Throat?

Treatment of strep throat may include:

  • Antibiotics such as penicillin and amoxicillin to get rid of the bacteria causing the infection
  • Medications to control pain or fever
  • Home remedies such as:
    • Using an air humidifier
    • Maintaining adequate hydration
    • Gargling with warm salt water
    • Swallowing honey to soothe the throat (do not use in infants under 1 year of age)
    • Eating soothing foods

Strep (Streptococcal) Throat Infection : Test Your Infectious Disease IQ Quiz

Strep Throat Quiz

Just about any painful sore throat is caused by strep.

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Kasper, D.L., et al., eds. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 19th Ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Education, 2015.