Strep throat is a bacterial infection of the throat and tonsils. It is painful, especially when swallowing and is very contagious. It can cause inflammation of the mucous membranes and scratchy throat. The severity of the symptoms affect people differently and some suffer from mild symptoms such as sore throat, difficulty swallowing, headache, and fever. Their strep throat symptoms will usually disappear within a couple of days. Others may experience more serious problems such as swollen lymph nodes, chills, and red skin rashes. In these cases, a doctor's care may be necessary. Parents should be especially concerned because children are the most vulnerable when it comes to contracting this condition. However, this infection can be easily prevented by following these three steps:

Practice Good Sanitation Habits

Because strep throat is highly contagious, consistent sanitation is strongly recommended. Hand washing is absolutely necessary because it kills many germs and bacteria. It also reduces your risk of contracting this illness. You should use hand sanitizer regularly or bleach as an alternative to sanitize surfaces. Cabinets, toilets, and doorknobs are the main culprits to passing along harmful germs. Do not eat or drink from the same utensils as someone else. This is one of the easiest ways to infect others with this bacterial condition. When washing dishes, you should consider putting some bleach into your dish water. When coughing or sneezing, cover your mouth, especially when children are present.

Avoid Infected People

During the school year, children have the highest risk of contracting strep throat. The cramped spaces of schools and being exposed to bacterias and viruses of others makes them more vulnerable. Adults can also suffer from this illness for similar reasons and limit their contact with people that may be infected. If you believe that you may have this condition, stay home from work until your symptoms have disappeared. Children should not attend school until they feel better.

Get Diagnosed

It is important to get diagnosed for strep throat because it is often confused with the common cold and other illnesses. If your throat condition has not improved within 2-3 days, you should strongly consider consulting your doctor. It is recommended that you ask your doctor to perform a rapid strep test. Your health care provider will examine your throat carefully and swab the inside of your mouth. The good thing about this test is that it only takes minutes to complete. Also, your results will be known within a couple of days. If you test positive, your physician will advise you on the best course of action. Unfortunately, there is no vaccine for strep throat, making this diagnosis even more important.

Practicing good sanitation habits can significantly reduce your risk of contracting strep throat. Hand washing and sanitizing surfaces can kill numerous bacteria and germs. Adults and children should limit their contact with individuals that may be infected. If necessary, they should stay home from work or school. It is important to get diagnosed because this illness is similar to other conditions such as the common cold or a sore throat. This is perhaps the best thing you can do to prevent this condition. This is a preventable illness and these 3 things can help you prevent it.

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