Diagnosing Strep Throat

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Pharyngitis, or strep throat, or sore throat, are all terms that we use interchangeably, but actually, not every sore throat is a strep throat. Strep throat is a bacterial infection caused by the Streptococcus bacteria. That bacteria actually needs to be treated with an antibiotic. Believe it or not, in most cases, you don’t need an antibiotic for treatment. In most cases, it’s a viral origin. Now, how do doctors tell that? The best way to tell is through a test to see if there is a bacterium. If there is a bacterial infection, then doctors go ahead and treat it with an antibiotic.

 

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Treating Throat Infections

Treating Throat Infections

There is growing information about throat infections in children. One of the things we can do in the office that I think is very important is a strep culture. We’re able to culture and see if bacteria is causing the problem. If, in fact, it is, we need to make sure that we get an antibiotic on board that can treat it. There are resistant strains and antibiotics always don’t work. But what we find is that certain antibiotics have a much better place in the treatment of these throat infections. We watch for them very carefully, and try to find out which is the best.

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Treating Pharyngitis (A Sore Throat)

Treating Pharyngitis (A Sore Throat)

Pharyngitis is often treated with antibiotics and, in those cases, it should because we’re dealing with strep or other bacteria that can cause long-term problems. But sometimes we have a viral cause of pharyngitis and in those cases, we don’t necessarily need to have an antibiotic; we actually need to counsel the patient. In other words, when you go see the doctor, you may not always get an antibiotic for your sore throat, or your child may not. We know that’s difficult to understand because we used to give it reflexively, but now we understand that we don’t want to overuse those antibiotics and in some cases, we don’t have to.

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