Strep throat is a bacterial infection in the throat that results from a bacterium called streptococcus (Group A) and is usually confused with tonsillitis and sore throat. It can cause a sore throat but not always. Tonsillitis is a condition where tonsils redden, become sore and get inflamed. This term does not define a definite infection but is used collectively for any inflammation on tonsils. It can also cause a sore throat. That explains the difference between those three frequently confused terms. It is very common in the young and adolescents though it can occur in any one. There some very conspicuous strep throat symptoms while there are others that can be easily confused with other infections.
One very common symptom of a strep infection is a sore throat. Despite this not all strep throat infections lead to a sore throat. The sore throat experienced is not accompanied by sneezing, coughing or any other cold related symptoms. In infants, strep throat may manifest itself in several signs such as sleeplessness, petulance, fever with a temperature higher than 101F (in case of lower temperatures there is a possibility of a viral infection), red rashes on some body parts such as legs and arms. The infant may reject breast milk or refuse to drink from a bottle.
Other signs which indicate a strep infection include inflamed tonsils. This infection may lead to visible white colored pockets of emission on those tonsils which eventually lead to bad breath in the mouth or even bad taste. One may also experience pain and trouble swallowing fatigue with headache, body aches and even swollen lymph glands in the neck.
One may also experience dark or brightly red colored spots on the back roof of the mouth close to the throat.
In adolescents a condition known as mononucleosis usually leads to a severe throat infection very similar to symptoms of a strep infection. It is also very simple to put a line between a sore throat and a cold and easily differentiate them. This is not the case for a strep throat. Sore throats are generally caused by viral infections and not from strep bacteria. The more cold symptoms (such as sneezing, coughing or even nausea) you experience the more it is likely to be a strep infection.
At certain circumstances, a strep infection may lead to a skin rash which builds up on the neck and chest and eventually extends over to the whole body. This rash is as rough as sandpaper. It is a condition that can be well described as Scarlet fever. Although most people easily pull through a scarlet infection, extreme complications may arise which include an infection on the Lymph glands called cervical adenitis or even lead to a middle ear infection called sinus infection or acute glomerulonephritis- a severe kidney infection.
In most cases of strep throat, it’s easily cured by use of antibiotics since it is a bacterial infection although it is of great importance if you consulted a qualified medical professional before jumping into conclusions that it is a strep infection just because you have manifestations of strep throat symptoms.