DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (WOFL FOX 35) - It's that time of year. While flu season is right around the corner, doctors are seeing a growing number of cases of streptococcal pharyngitis, or strep throat, across Central Florida. In fact, Centra Care has seen a 30 percent spike in patients since just last week.
Strep throat is a common type of sore throat in children, but it's not very common in adults. Streptococcus bacteria are spread through contact with droplets after an infected person coughs or sneezes. If you touch your mouth, nose, or eyes after touching something that has these droplets on it, you may become ill. If you drink from the same glass or eat from the same plate as the sick person, you could also become ill. It is also possible to get strep throat from contact with sores from group A strep skin infections.
If a child has a high fever, doctors can give them a swab test that can produce results in 10 minutes. If positive, antibiotics are usually the course of treatment, and once the fever is gone, kids can go back to school.
"It's not an epidemic; it's just a natural process," said Dr. Donald Kennedy, with Centra Care in Daytona Beach. "Weather changes... viruses and strep like that weather change, and so, it's here." Dr. Kennedy adds there isn't much you can do to prevent getting strep, other than washing your hands frequently.
Common Symptoms of Strep Throat
- Sore throat, usually starts quickly and can cause severe pain when swallowing
- A fever (101°F or above)
- Red and swollen tonsils, sometimes with white patches or streaks of pus
- Tiny red spots on the area at the back of the roof of the mouth (the soft or hard palate)
- Headache, nausea, or vomiting
- Swollen lymph nodes in the neck
- Body aches or rash
Some information taken from the Centers for Disease Control.