Now that the summer is officially here, it’s the perfect time for visiting the swimming pool, catching fireflies and relaxing at a neighborhood barbecue. It’s certainly no time for getting sick. Unfortunately the streptococcus bacterium responsible for causing strep throat has little regard for summer vacations, sleepaway camp, or pressing work deadlines.
The strep bacterium is found on the skin and in the throat and is spread through direct contact with mucous from an infected person. The problem is that an innocent cough or sneeze is all it takes to spread the strep infection, and many don’t know they’re infected until several days into the infection. The realization strikes with a sore throat, temperature above 100° and red and swollen tonsils. An individual might also have streaks or patches of pus, tiny red spots on the roof of the mouth, headache, nausea and vomiting, body aches and swollen lymph nodes. Awful anytime but definitely depressing in the summer!
Summit Family Practitioners
- Dana Ideen, MD
- Eric Lawrence, MD
- Joe Mickelson, MD
- Joe Schoeber, MD
When to Call the Doctor?
Parents continuously walk a fine line wondering if it’s too early to call the doctor. Too soon and the symptoms might not be fully developed or in the case of a virus, there’s nothing to do but hydrate and keep the child as comfortable as possible. (Antibiotics cannot treat a virus.)
When it comes to strep throat, it’s important to call the doctor when a sore throat is accompanied by fever, headache, stomachache or extreme fatigue. This is an important differentiator when seasonal allergies can also cause a scratchy throat. If a child is having trouble breathing it could indicate an even more serious infection necessitating an immediate trip to the doctor.
Strep Symptoms in Young Children
Toddlers (age 1-3) – thickened or bloody nasal discharge, fever, cranky, no appetite, swollen neck glands, possible stomach pain
Children (ages 3 and up) – painful sore throat, fever over 102°, swollen neck glands, pus on tonsils, lethargy
- David Ellbogen, MD
- Robert Vigneri, MD
When strep throat frequently occurs, many parents begin to question if a tonsillectomy might be necessary. In some cases yes, but doctors are growing more conservative about performing this procedure. The tonsils produce disease-fighting white blood cells providing an immune defense against viruses and bacteria in the throat, something definitely worth holding on to. The exception to the rule comes for children and adults who have multiple episodes of strep throat over several years. One guideline is more than seven episodes of strep throat in a year and more than five infections in the preceding two years.
Summit ENT Physicians
- Eugene Podrazik, MD
- D. Cope Norcross, MD from Wyoming Otolaryngology
Reasons for Performing a Tonsillectomy
- Repeated strep throat episodes over an extended time period
- Complications from enlarged tonsils
- Sleep apnea
- Bleeding or abscessed tonsils
At Summit Medical Center our caring staff of Ear, Nose and Throat specialists and anesthesiologists can help you and your family find the right solution for recurrent sore throats, sinus trouble, snoring, seasonal sniffles and other disorders affecting the neck and head. Summit Medical Center serves the Casper, Wyoming, area with cost-competitive, high-quality medical care and superior patient service. We’re dedicated to changing the way healthcare is delivered in Casper and beyond.