KNOXVILLE (WATE) – Strep throat is one of the most common childhood illnesses that can keep a child home from school.
The illness is highly contagious. The risk can increase during the school year due to many children being in close quarters, according to East Tennessee Children’s Hospital.
How does it spread?
The illness can spread by an infected person sneezing, coughing or shaking hands with someone else.
If not treated, strep throat can spread when the symptoms are most severe, however, they can still infect others for up to three weeks.
How can it be prevented?
Remembering to wash hand can help prevent strep throat. Also, it is wise to stay home when sick.
What are the symptoms?:
- Stomach Pain
- Sore throat with red, swollen tonsils (white or yellow dots may be visible on tonsils, as well as, red spots in the roof of a child’s mouth)
How is it treated?
If a child shows signs it is very important for them to visit a doctor. The illness requires antibiotic treatment due to being caused by a type of bacteria. If not treated, strep throat can lead to complications like inflammation and rheumatic fever.
Children should drink plenty of liquids. East Tennessee Children’s Hospital says to avoid orange juice and other acidic beverages. Warm liquids such as soup, tea and hot chocolate can be soothing to the child.
It is important for the child to take all of their medication, even if the child feels better.
A child should rest, until a doctor can let them know when it is ok to return to normal activities.