Strep throat is a contagious condition, an infection that occurs because of bacteria, namely Streptococcus pyogenes, also called group A streptococcus. Questions like how long a strep throat infection last, its severity and treatment are common if you are unaware of the condition.
This blog has your answers. For starters, we can’t put a specific time frame on strep throat infection, how long it will last, is it always severe or not, etc. Every person’s condition varies from person to person.
On Average, How Long Does A Strep Throat Infection Last?
The first sign of a strep infection is a sore throat. You may confuse it with tonsillitis because both are contagious and painful, but they are entirely different; tonsil is a part of the overall throat area.
Strep throat can stay as long as 7 to 10 days. However, the signs and symptoms start getting better with appropriate care first after it crosses 2 to 3 days. In this span, the condition is at its worst.
Strep throat can go away on its own pretty well, but antibiotics can work if you detect the condition within 48 hours of its initiation.
Incubation and Recovery
It remains actively contagious long before your body starts presenting symptoms; this is known as the incubation time span.
You are still at risk of spreading this infection until you have been on antibiotics for a whole day or there has been no fever spike in the last 24 hours.
The symptoms start getting better on either day 3 or 4 of the illness or 3 days after starting antibiotic medication. They are usually used for 10 days. This is because most people ultimately feel better after completing the 10th-day mark.
Strep Throat Symptoms
The most common symptoms seen in this infection are:
- Sore throat that rapidly gains severity
- Fever hiking at least 101ºF
- Pain during swallowing
- Red bumps on the roof of the mouth
- Swollen, red tonsils with white patches or pus
- Throbbing headache
- Body aches
- Tender, swollen lymph nodes
- Stomach ache or nausea, especially in children
Treatments for Strep Throat
Since it is a bacterial infection, its treatment is done with antibiotics.
These 3 antibiotics are mostly prescribed for infection by healthcare professionals:
- Amoxicillin: Doses for children are set according to their body weight. The recommendation is to take the meds 2-3 times per day at regular intervals. As for adults amoxicillin is 500mg 2x daily for 10 days or 1,000mg of extended version OD for 10 days.
- Penicillin: 250 mg 2x daily to 500 mg 2x daily, according to their age bracket. Typically penicillin is taken for 10 days in one cycle.
- Cephalexin: Cephalexin is suitable for people who suffer from penicillin allergies. Dose adjustment is made according to body weight for children, 2-4 x per day.
You can also treat pain and discomfort with gargles, warm tea, and lozenges. In contrast, over-the-counter OTC pain relievers such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) and acetaminophen (Tylenol) work well if home remedies do not work.
Strep throat develops and takes severity suddenly, so you must contact a healthcare professional immediately. Do not refrain from reaching out to Smile Time Dental in case you find anything suspicious.