Strep throat is a common throat infection caused by the bacteria referred to as group A streptococcus. This contagious infection is diagnosed most frequently in children between the ages of 5 and 15, according to MayoClinic.com. People with strep throat can develop classic throat symptoms with or without fever. Antibiotic treatment is typically necessary to resolve strep throat symptoms in affected people.
Sore Throat and Difficulty Swallowing
A sore throat is the primary symptom experienced by people with a strep throat. Throat pain is typically moderate to severe and may be most apparent when a person attempts to swallow. Swallowing can be difficult and uncomfortable and can contribute to additional symptoms in certain people.
Discolored Throat Patches
This bacterial throat infection can result in the appearance of discolored patches of skin at the back of the throat. The skin of the throat can appear unusually red or white, according to KidsHealth.
Enlarged Tonsils or Lymph Glands
Bacteria within the throat can severely irritate or inflame this region of the body. Consequently, people with strep throat can develop unusually swollen tonsils, which lie on either side of the back of the throat. Swollen or enlarged tonsils can narrow the throat, which can exacerbate swallowing difficulties in affected people. Additionally, people with strep throat can notice that the lymph glands within their neck are enlarged or tender to the touch, FamilyDoctor.org explains.
People with strep throat can develop headache due to this throat infection, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases reports. Headache pain is typically mild to moderate in severity and can make it difficult for people to concentrate or remain alert during the day. If headache pain is bothersome, patients can take an over-the-counter pain medication, such as acetaminophen, to help alleviate discomfort.
Certain people with strep throat, particularly children, can experience an upset stomach as a symptom. Upset stomach symptoms typically include nausea, vomiting or lower abdominal pain, and can contribute to a significant decrease in appetite in affected people.
Children can develop an unusual skin rash as a symptom of strep throat, FamilyDoctor.org reports. The skin rash can appear as small, red spots that typically localize to skin creases or skin beneath the armpits.
Fatigue or Malaise
Excessive or increased fatigue is a symptom of strep throat in certain people, MayoClinic.com notes. Fatigue typically occurs in conjunction with throat pain or stomach upset symptoms. People who experience fatigue or malaise can have difficulty remaining active or may take frequent naps throughout the day.