The colder seasons are most often associated with the common cold and flu virus. However, strep throat is also one of the most common ailments during the late winter and early spring.
Strep throat is a bacterial infection caused by Group A Streptococcus, which causes the development of sores in the throat. In some cases, strep throat can make it incredibly painful to swallow and may even cause fever.
Unfortunately, some people become infected with strep throat many times throughout their life. But what causes recurring strep throat and how can you avoid repeating infection? Consider the following:
- You may have a weakened immune system
There are many people in the U.S. who have weakened immune systems, and in many demographics this is perfectly normal. Children, elderly persons, patients undergoing chemotherapy, and people who have been diagnosed with HIV/AIDS have immune systems that may be more vulnerable to strep bacteria. Practicing good hygiene is beneficial for everyone, but especially for those with weakened immune systems. Antibacterial soaps, routine handwashing, and keeping your hands away from your face and eyes (especially in a public place) are all great ways to help fight back against infection this winter season.
- The strain you’re infected with is resistant to antibiotics
Strep bacteria are often treated with antibiotics. However, depending on the strain of bacteria with which you’ve been infected, the strep you’ve contracted may be resistant to the medicine. If this is the case, your doctor may decide to treat you with a different antibiotic. Common antibiotics used to treat strep include cephalexin and penicillin. However, if you are allergic to either you may need to consider another treatment option.
- You may be hanging around a carrier
A carrier of strep is a person who carries Group A Streptococcus in their throats but isn’t affected by the bacteria. This bacteria is highly infectious and can be passed on via sneeze, cough, or sharing food and drinks. If you’re continuously becoming infected with strep throat, there may be a chance you’ve been spending time with a carrier of the bacteria. The best way to combat against routine exposure to strep bacteria is to reduce food and drink sharing. Additionally, be sure to take all medication provided to you by your doctor even when you begin to feel better.
Up to three million people across the U.S. visit urgent care centers in a single week. This is because urgent care clinics are fast, efficient, and professional with their patients. Plus, you won’t end up with a $2,000 emergency room bill for a simple strep throat treatment. If you or a loved one is suffering from a sore throat or strep, consider visiting a walk in clinic today for treatment.