Strep throat is a very common virus. It is most common in the late fall and early spring and among children between the ages of 5 and 15, but adults can get it too. In fact, approximately 11,000 to 24,000 Americans fall ill to the infection every year.
So, how can you avoid getting strep throat this year? Our team at AFC Urgent Care Gastonia has the answers you’re looking for, so read on.
First, How Would I Get Strep Throat?
Strep throat is caused by bacteria called Streptococcus pyogenes, or group A Streptococcus (also known as group A strep, or GAS). The most common way to get strep throat is by touching your eyes, nose or mouth after being exposed to these bacteria.
Strep throat can also be spread by fomites, which means coming in contact with objects, such as doorknobs and faucets, that are contaminated by the bacteria. If you feel under the weather but aren’t sure whether you are experiencing the infection or not, we’ve listed some of its common symptoms below.
Common Strep Throat Symptoms
- A sudden fever, especially if it’s 101˚F or higher
- A sore, red throat with white patches
- A headache
- A loss of appetite
- Swollen lymph nodes in the neck
- Trouble swallowing
What Can I Do to Avoid Strep Throat?
Honestly, the same things you are currently doing to avoid COVID-19. COVID-19 health-safety protocols are effective against infections and viruses of all kinds, which is one of the biggest reasons flu cases are down this year.
If you do have a painful, sore throat, however, visit your doctor. If your doctor suspects strep throat, he or she will likely perform a rapid strep test to confirm his or her diagnosis. Strep tests provide reliable results and aren’t usually painful. We’ve listed some effective ways to stay healthy this year below.
Effective Health-Safety Precautions
- Wear a mask in public.
- Remain 6 feet apart from others.
- Frequently wash your hands for at least 20 seconds.
- If you don’t have access to soap and water, use alcohol-rich hand sanitizer.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
Strep throat can cause lots of throat discomfort and is quite contagious. If you suspect that you have strep throat, our team at AFC Urgent Care Gastonia is here for you, so don’t hesitate to visit us!