Strep Throat

What is pharyngitis?
It is a sore throat caused most often by a virus, but it can be caused by the strep germ which is called “strep throat”.
What are the symptoms of strep throat?
A strep throat often causes a bad sore throat and fever.  It may also cause headache, stomach ache, pus on the tonsils, swelling of the neck glands and a rash.
How can I tell if my child has a virus or strep throat?
The symptoms of a virus sore throat are often milder than strep and include a cough or runny nose.  The physician may be able to tell the cause by exam alone.  Often a strep test is needed.
What is the treatment for a strep throat?
The usual treatment is amoxicillin or penicillin which should be taken for 10 full days.  This will help prevent rheumatic fever and keep the sore throat from coming back.  A single shot of penicillin is also available and treatment for 10 days is not needed.
Do antibiotics help fight a virus?
It is often helpful to take acetaminophen (Tylenol).
Should my child’s tonsils be taken out if he has repeated strep throats?
If your child has many strep throats in a year or if the tonsils are very big and cause trouble with eating or breathing, your child’s physician, may want to refer him to a surgeon for an evaluation as to whether your child’s tonsils should be removed.  Some signs of tonsils or adenoids which are large include snoring at night, mouth breathing, as well as nasal speech.