What Are The Symptoms Of Strep Throat?

Understanding The Different Types Of Strep From A To G

Sore throat? It could be strep. Pneumonia, skin infection or urinary tract infection? Believe it or not, that also could be strep. While strep throat is the most well-known type of streptococcal bacterial infection, there are several types—also known as groups—of strep, including A, B, C and G.

Although they are all from the same family of bacteria, the symptoms, severity and who is most likely to be infected varies greatly. However, getting it diagnosed correctly and treated is key to overcoming the illness regardless of group.

What Are The Symptoms Of Strep Throat?

Strep Group A: The Most Common Form of Strep Infection

Group A strep is the most common form of streptococcal infection. School-aged children are the most likely to catch this highly contagious bacterial infection that tends to spread like wildfire in school classrooms. Parents, teachers and others in close proximity are the adults generally most at risk of catching the infection, which is characterized by upper respiratory symptoms:

  • Sore throat
  • Pain when swallowing
  • Swollen tonsils and lymph nodes
  • Reddening of tongue
  • Red spots on roof of mouth
  • White splotches on the tonsils, back of the tongue or throat
  • Fever

Less frequent illnesses associated with group A strep include scarlet fever (another type of upper respiratory infection) and a skin infection called impetigo which features scratchy sores filled with pus.

Left untreated, strep throat can last the better part of a week. But if it’s diagnosed quickly by a doctor at The Emergency Center, it can be vanquished in a day or two with the proper prescription antibiotics. Scarlet fever and impetigo also can be treated effectively with readily available antibiotics.

Strep Group B: An Infection of The Intestine & Birth Canal

Although illness from group B strep is not as common, the group B streptococcus bacteria is often naturally found inside intestines and the birth canal. Older adults who have other conditions that compromise their immune system are more likely to be at risk of a breakthrough infection from the bacteria than other adults or children. Strep B can cause:

  • infections of the blood (sepsis) or skin
  • urinary tract infections
  • pneumonia

Unfortunately, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that one in about 20 adults who contract a group B strep infection will die, making getting it diagnosed and treated early all the more important.

However, newborns are at highest risk for a group B strep infection, which is a leading cause of meningitis, pneumonia and even death for this age group. The good news is that pregnant women are tested for the bacteria as part of routine pregnancy care and, if they have it, are given antibiotics during delivery to prevent transmission to their baby.

Other Forms of Strep: Causes & Symptoms

If group A strep is thought of as a routine infection in the medical world, groups C and G could be considered rare. In fact, the bacteria that causes them is more commonly found in livestock and horses. Group C and G streptococcus bacteria can be passed to humans by contact with these animals and then passed from one person to another. The bacteria can take up residence in the throat, lower intestines or vagina, as well as damaged skin.

When these strains do cause human illness, symptoms are often similar to group A strep, or they may cause infections of skin and soft tissue throughout the body. If one of these infections enters the bloodstream, it can become especially dangerous.

Getting a Strep Diagnosis at The Emergency Center.

Though strep infections can cause a wide range of symptoms – from mild to most severe – there are antibiotics for each group that are highly effective at treating it. Getting to The Emergency Center for diagnosis and treatment can help you get back to better health and prevent further spread.

Enjoy life. We’ll be here for the bumps along the way.™


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The Emergency Center

San Antonio
11320 Alamo Ranch Pkwy
San Antonio, TX 78253

Phone: 210-485-3644