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Bad strep throat? It's probably not strep, most likely viral
Date:9/10/2012

en and just 5 to 15 percent of adults.

The guidelines note that children and adults do not need to be tested for strep throat if they have a cough, runny nose, hoarseness and mouth sores, which are strong signs of a viral throat infection. A sore throat is more likely to be caused by strep if the pain comes on suddenly, swallowing hurts and the sufferer has a fever without the above listed features, but should be confirmed through testing before antibiotics are prescribed, the guidelines note.

If strep is suspected, the guidelines recommend physicians use the rapid antigen detection test, which provides results in a few minutes. If that test is negative, a follow-up throat culture is recommended for children and adolescents, but not for adults. Results of the culture can take up to several days, but antibiotics should not be prescribed unless results are positive, the guidelines note. Because strep throat is uncommon in children three years old or younger, they don't need to be tested, the guidelines recommend.

"The guidelines promote accurate diagnosis and treatment, particularly in avoiding the inappropriate use of antibiotics, which contributes to drug-resistant bacteria," said lead author Stanford T. Shulman, MD, chief of the division of infectious diseases at Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago and professor of pediatrics at Northwestern University Fineberg School of Medicine. "We recommend penicillin or amoxicillin for treating strep because they are very effective and safe in those who are not allergic, and there is increasing resistance of strep to the broader-spectrum and more expensive macrolides, including azithromycin."

He notes the guidelines recommend against tonsillectomy for children with repeated throat infection except in very specific cases such as a child who has obstructive breathing because the risks of surgery are generally not worth the transient benefit.

Serious complication
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Contact: Ashley Mattys
amattys@pcipr.com
312-558-1770
Infectious Diseases Society of America
Source:Eurekalert

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