thermometerThere are undoubtedly benefits to being South enough to avoid major blizzards, such as Winter Storm Jonas. However, we still have to cope with the same winter illnesses everybody else has to in this country. These include the common cold, influenza, norovirus and strep throat. While none of these so-called winter-related illnesses are necessarily caused by cold weather, they all are significantly more prevalent during the winter months. All four of the aforementioned illnesses are unmistakably similar in their symptoms, however, they all differ biologically.

Strep throat, specifically, is an infection caused by the bacteria, Streptococcus, which inhabits itself inside the throat or nasal passage. From there, the bacteria will come into contact with other people, generally in the form of water droplets, transmitted by either sneezing or coughing.

Strep throat’s symptoms include:

  • Fever Exceeding 101° F
  • Flu Symptoms:
    • Light-Headedness
    • Coughing
    • Headache
    • Nausea
  • Swollen Tonsils and Lymph Nodes
  • Sore Throat Aggravated by Swallowing

There are two simple ways to diagnose strep. The first is by a physician simply examining the roof of the mouth and seeing if there are red streaks. However, these red streaks don’t always exist. In these cases, the physician will swab the throat and then perform a lab test to determine if the bacteria, Streptococcus, exists.

While the immune system can combat strep throat by itself, physicians will often prescribe antibiotics to expedite the healing process. At American Family Care, we can administer strep tests and prescribe antibiotics if our board-certified physicians deem it necessary. To take advantage of our services, walk in to our clinic anytime during business hours, as we’re open seven days a week with no appointment necessary. To speak with one of our medical professionals, call us at 865-299-6192.

We look forward to helping make your winter strep-free!