Having strep throat seems to be a rite of passage for most children. It's a highly contagious bacterial infection, but many of its symptoms can mimic other issues. At Prime Pediatrics in Gaithersburg, MD, Dr. Farnoush Jamali and physician's assistant Jessica Vossler have years of experience in diagnosing and treating strep throat. Below, they've listed a few of the common signs of strep throat and why they occur.
A painfully scratchy throat can be the first sign that strep has invaded and it's time to visit your child's doctor in Gaithersburg. That's because the tonsils, located on the very back of the roof of the mouth, are essentially large lymph nodes that help the body fight infection. Unfortunately, part of the way they work is by trapping the infectious particles - in this case, the strep bacteria - leading to them becoming swollen, inflamed and painful as they protect the rest of the body. The lymph nodes located under the jaw may also swell and be painful to the touch.
A fever, usually over 101 degrees Fahrenheit, is often one of the hallmarks of strep throat. This is due to the body's immune system fighting off the strep bacteria. However, it's important to remember that a sore throat accompanied by a fever can also be due to a viral infection, which is why it's important to make an appointment with your Gaithersburg children's doctor any time you aren't sure about the cause of your child's illness.
Some of our patients at Prime Pediatrics who have strep throat also experience additional symptoms, including a headache, nausea or vomiting. When strep occurs with a red, sunburn-like rash that starts above the neck and spreads downward, it's known as scarlet fever. It sounds dangerous, but your Gaithersburg children's doctor treats scarlet fever the same way as regular strep throat, with antibiotics and rest at home.
A simple swab of the tonsils will help your Gaithersburg, MD, children's doctor diagnose strep. If you think your child may be deal with strep throat, contact Prime Pediatrics today to schedule an appointment with Dr. Jamali or Jessica Vossler today!