Strep throat has uncomfortable symptoms such as sore throat, fever and problems breathing or swallowing. The contagious bacteria Streptococcus pyogenes causes strep throat when it spreads to a person without the disease. You can reduce your chance of getting or spreading strep throat by following certain precautions. This guide will teach you how to prevent strep throat and what to do if you have it.
How to Prevent Strep Throat Naturally
Try the following strategies to reduce your family’s risk of getting strep throat:
- Wash your hands: Hand washing serves as one the best ways to prevent infections like strep throat. Remember to wash your hands for at least 20 seconds and scrub every part of the hand.
- Use hand sanitizer: When you don’t have access to soap and water, hand sanitizer can also help you keep germs away. Hand sanitizer often comes in travel-sized bottles that you can take anywhere.
- Avoid sharing personal items: Sharing food, drinks or eating utensils can spread strep throat bacteria even when neither person thinks they have it. Other items that go in the mouth like toothbrushes and pacifiers can also spread germs.
You can lower you or your child’s chance of getting strep throat by limiting your exposure to the Streptococcus pyogenes bacteria. Following these tips can help you avoid spreading strep throat and other infections at any time of the year.
Preventing the Spread of Strep Throat
If you or someone you love already has strep throat, you can take steps to avoid spreading it. You can protect others by:
- Taking antibiotics: If you get a strep throat diagnosis, your doctor will likely give you antibiotics to fight the infection. Remember that strep throat’s contagious period lasts for at least 24 hours after you start taking antibiotics.
- Keeping your environment clean: Surfaces like tabletops and doorknobs can host strep throat bacteria. Regularly wipe down these areas to prevent the spread of bacteria.
- Staying home from work or school: A person with strep throat stays contagious as long as they have symptoms. If you can, call in sick from work or school until you’ve taken antibiotics for at least 24 hours.
- Washing your hands frequently: Keeping your hands clean will reduce the spread of the strep throat bacteria. Follow the same directions as mentioned above for the best results.
Everyone has a part to play in reducing strep throat’s spread, including people who already have it.
How to Prevent Strep Throat When You Feel It Coming
Symptoms like a sore throat that lasts longer than 48 hours and small spots inside your mouth can both indicate strep throat. If these symptoms show up, you may already have the infection. Visit a doctor to get a rapid strep test and throat culture that can tell you if you have strep throat. The professionals at Hamilton Health can test you for strep throat and provide the right treatment.
Get Strep Throat Diagnosis and Treatment at Hamilton Health
At Hamilton Health, we offer patient-centered care to people regardless of health, economic or insurance status. To see a doctor for strep throat or another infection, call us at 717-232-9971 to schedule an appointment.