Pharyngitis, or sore throat, is a leading cause of outpatient care and can be caused by a viral or bacterial infection. Viral pharyngitis does not require antibiotic treatment, but antibiotics continue to be inappropriately prescribed. Proper testing and treatment of bacterial pharyngitis prevents the spread of sickness, while reducing unnecessary use of antibiotics and patient discomfort. Serious complications can occur after an untreated Strep A infection.1
In general, strep throat is a mild infection, but it can be very painful. Group A strep pharyngitis is more common in children than in adults (20-30% vs 5-15% respectively), and it transmits easily in crowds such as daycare centers, schools, or workplaces. Clinicians cannot use clinical examination to differentiate viral and group A strep pharyngitis in the absence of viral symptoms. During consultation a rapid strep A test can determine if group A strep is present. Antibiotics can help the patient feel better faster and prevent spreading it to others.1
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- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 2021. “Strep Throat: All You Need to Know. https://www.cdc.gov/groupastre...