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Strep throat – causes, side effects and treatments at

Wednesday, June 27, 2018 by

Strep throat is an infection common in children, especially those between ages five and 15. The condition is caused by group A Streptococcus bacteria, and it is spread through direct contact with fluids from the nose or saliva. A child infected with strep throat can pass it onto other members of the household.

Known risk factors and symptoms of strep throat

Children with a strep throat infection can transmit the infection through sneezing, coughing, or shaking hands. The disease is contagious when the symptoms are most severe, but it can still be passed onto others after three weeks.

Most people tend to be confused about whether their throat condition is strep throat (a bacterial infection) or a sore throat (often, a viral infection).

Typical symptoms of strep throat include the following:

  • Sore throat which can make swallowing painful
  • Fever
  • Red and swollen tonsils – these can sometimes have white patches or streaks of pus
  • Swollen lymph nodes in the neck
  • Tiny, red spots on the roof of the mouth

In other cases, headaches, stomach pain, nausea, or vomiting may accompany an infection.

If a child’s sore throat is accompanied by coughing, a runny nose, changes in the voice, and conjunctivitis, it is more likely a viral infection and not strep throat.

Good hygiene significantly reduces the risk of being infected, as well as transmission.

Body systems affected by strep throat

Strep throat primarily affects the tonsils and sinuses, but it can spread and infect the skin, blood, and middle ear.

In some cases, it can trigger inflammatory reactions, leading to the following complications.

  • Scarlet fever – a bacterial infection known for its prominent rash
  • Inflammation of the kidneys
  • Rheumatic fever, a severe inflammation that affects the heart, joints, nervous system, and skin

Food items or nutrients that may prevent or relieve strep throat

If a person is infected with strep throat, the following food items could help alleviate the condition.

  • Ice – Sucking on some ice can help relieve the throat of inflammation.
  • Manuka honey – It prevents the bacteria from growing biofilm, a substance they use to protect themselves from the immune system.
  • Turmeric and ginger – Aside from being anti-inflammatory, the two contain compounds that prevent the growth of bacteria which cause the infection.
  • Date or apple cider vinegar – Both can destroy the biofilm that surrounds infecting bacteria.

Treatments and management options for strep throat

Some natural treatments that a person can use to manage the strep throat include:

  • Staying hydrated. An increased fluid intake moistens the throat and prevents dehydration, which can occur with a fever.
  • Gargling. In particular, gargling with warm salt water can relieve throat pain.
  • Rest. Adequate sleep is a must to boost the immune system during an infection.
  • Avoiding irritants. Food items or environments that have a harsh or overly strong scent can make the condition worse.

Where to learn more


Strep throat is an infection caused by group A streptococcus bacteria.

Strep throat is spread through direct contact with fluids from the nose or saliva.

Strep throat primarily affects the tonsils and sinuses, but lead to severe inflammatory reactions.

Sources include:


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