Sore throat or pharyngitis is common this time of year! How can you tell if it's bacterial or viral? Well, this video can help, but you should really see your doctor! If you don't have a doctor and you live in Detroit, come see us! You can find us at www.PlumHealthDPC.com
Here's a few bits of information:
Strep throat is caused by Group A Streptococcus, a bacteria that affects the back of the throat. Of the sore throats in kids aged 5 - 15 years, Group A Strep causes only 15 - 30%. So that means that 70 - 85% of all sore throats in kids age 5 - 15 are Viral.
It's hard to tell the difference between a virus and a bacteria, and we doctors use the Centor Criteria. The Centor Criteria states that bacterial pharyngitis (Strep throat) is more likely if the following qualifications are met:
1.) Age less than 14 years, 2.) fever or temperature greater than 100.4 F, 3) red throat with discharge, 4) tender lymph nodes, and 5) absence of a cough or other markers of a viral infection like a runny nose, nasal congestion, etc...
Additionally, Strep throat typically has an abrupt onset, with fever, headache, abdominal pain, and nausea likely.
The best thing to do when you have symptoms is talk with your doctor. One of the reason that you need to see your doctor is that without proper treatment, there can be downstream consequences. Acute rheumatic fever, post-streptococcal glomerulonephritis, and pediatric autoimmune neuropsychiatric disorders associated with streptococcus can occur.
Appropriate treatment can prevent complications, prevent the spread of the bacteria, and reduce the length and intensity of the infection.
Thanks for watching!
Paul Thomas MD
Plum Health DPC