What is Strep Throat?

I really never thought about Strep until I got it over the weekend.  Some of my symptoms included: Body aches, muscle soarness, headaches, high fever, body chills, and major throat pain.  What stood out the most was my throat pain.  I was in so much pain, I couldn’t even swallow water.  Every time I tried to swallow, I felt as if my ears would burst open, and my throat would close up.  The level of pain was indescribable. When I went into Urgent Care, a lot of people were there for flu-like symptoms.  I too, had flu-like symptoms, but my throat was in so much pain, I had money on me having Strep Throat.  Even with all bets set, I still didn’t know what Strep Throat was.  I heard of it, and heard of other people getting it, but I never knew what it really was.  The nurse went to swab my throat and his first reaction was, “eww.”  He said that it was extremely swollen and red.  After a couple minutes, the stick positively confirmed that I had Step.  My doctor prescribed me some antibiotics to take (ones that I could take while nusing my baby) and told me to keep a watch on my throat to make sure that it didn’t get worse because it could become life-threatening. When I went home, I looked up Strep Throat. Strep throat is caused by Group A Streptococcus bacteria. It is the most common bacterial infection of the throat.  Some of the symptoms include: Difficulty in Swallowing, fever that begins suddenly, loss of appetite, nausea, rash, red throat (sometimes with white patches), sore throat, and tender lymph nodes.  Other symptoms associated with this disease are: Abnormal taste, headache, joint stiffness, muscle pain, nasal congestion, nasal discharge, and neck pain. A lot of symptoms can go hand in hand with other diseases, so sometimes its hard to know what you really have.  For me, my throat hurt so much I knew it had to do with something in my throat, ears, or nose.  I think most people want to know how you can get Strep.  You can get it from person-to-person contact.  Usually, the infection is spread with nasal secretions or saliva, often times among family or household members. One way to prevent Strep is to get a new toothbrush after you are in the clear of passing on the infection.  The bacteria can live in the toothbrush and can re-infect you when the antibiotics are done.  Moreover, it’s also good to keep all the family’s toothbrushes separate, unless they have been washed. Strep Throat is very uncomfortable.  For me, it was beyond painful, and made me want to sleep all day long.  Not being able to swallow anything, even water, I was completely lethargic and had zero energy.  If you ever suspect that you or your child has Strep, make sure you go to the doctor to get it treated because the more you wait, the worse it gets!

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