Strep Throat

  • Medical Author:
    John Mersch, MD, FAAP

    Dr. Mersch received his Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of California, San Diego, and prior to entering the University Of Southern California School Of Medicine, was a graduate student (attaining PhD candidate status) in Experimental Pathology at USC. He attended internship and residency at Children's Hospital Los Angeles.

  • Medical Editor: Steven Doerr, MD
    Steven Doerr, MD

    Steven Doerr, MD

    Steven Doerr, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Emergency Medicine Physician. Dr. Doerr received his undergraduate degree in Spanish from the University of Colorado at Boulder. He graduated with his Medical Degree from the University Of Colorado Health Sciences Center in Denver, Colorado in 1998 and completed his residency training in Emergency Medicine from Denver Health Medical Center in Denver, Colorado in 2002, where he also served as Chief Resident.

Quick GuideCommon Sore Throat vs. Strep Throat

Common Sore Throat vs. Strep Throat

What are the signs and symptoms of strep throat?

Signs of strep throat infection include:

  • Redness of the soft palate, uvula (the "punching bag" structure hanging from the back of the soft palate) and tonsils. Commonly the tonsils may have a bumpy character to their surface - somewhat like a golfball.
  • A purulent discharge on the tonsils (exudate)
  • Petechiae (1-2 mm bright red "dots" which represent ruptured capillaries) scattered on the soft palate. The presence of these "white spots" is often associated with bad breath (halitosis).
  • Enlarged and tender neck lymph nodes (also known as lymph glands), and occasionally
  • A diffuse rash over the torso and groin region. The classic description of this rash is that of "goose bumps on a moderate sunburn."

The presence of a strep infection and this specific rash is termed scarlet fever. Such a diagnosis does not imply a more severe GAS infection or imply any change in prognosis or management. The rash is not contagious. It is important to note that while most patients with strep throat will experience these signs and symptoms, not all will necessarily be present in each individual. Continue Reading

Reviewed on 4/20/2015
References
REFERENCES:

American Academy of Pediatrics Red Book. Group A Streptococcal Infections. 2012: 668.

CDC.gov. Is it Strep Throat?

Pichichero, Michael. Group A Beta-hemolytic Streptococcal Infections. Pediatrics in Review. 1998; 19: 291-302.

Wald, Ellen. Antibiotic Treatment of Pharyngitis. Pediatrics in Review. 2001; 22: 255.

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