What's Going Around: Strep throat

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What’s Going Around this week: strep throat, a bacterial infection. Doctors said it is typical this time of year with kids back in school after the holiday break. It’s caused by the bacteria, group A streptococcus.

Parents can often have trouble figuring out if a child has strep or a sore throat. The symptoms include throat pain, fever, pain when swallowing, headache, and swollen lymph nodes in the neck.

Emergency Medicine expert Dr. Mike Patrick said when your child has a significant sore throat, it's best for a healthcare provider to administer a rapid strep test.

“When they come back positive you know a kid has strep in the back of their throat when the test comes back and it's positive. When it's negative we do like to do a follow-up test because you can get some false negative results," he said.

Results from that follow up test may take a day or two to come back. If it is strep throat, oral antibiotics, like amoxicillin, penicillin or azithromycin, will be prescribed.

Follow the instructions on the prescription to the letter, finish the medication even if your symptoms subside or clear.

Treatment is important to reduce the symptoms and prevent complications like rheumatic fever.