The contagiousness of strep throat infection is known to all of us. So, educate yourself about the tips for preventing strep throat, and you can effectually avoid it from occurring. Read on, to know more about strep throat prevention.
A group of bacteria categorized under the genus Streptococcus are responsible for causing strep throat. Over here, the mucous lining of the pharyngeal area becomes irritated and inflamed, resulting in pain symptoms. The affected area encompasses the pharynx, tonsils and at times, the larynx. Although anyone can get infected with strep bacteria, children are more prone to it than adults.
At the first onset of sore throat symptoms, most of us assume them to be something related to common cold. This viral infection leads to soreness of throat in the same way as strep throat infection. But, the difference lies in the accompanying symptoms and severity of sore throat. In case of sore throat caused by streptococcus infection, severe throat discomfort begins suddenly and is quite painful. Whereas viral infection causes painful throat soreness along with runny nose, nasal congestion, coughing and sneezing.
How to Prevent Strep Throat Infection?
Spreading of strep throat infection occurs at a very fast rate. Once a person is infected with the strep bacteria, chances for the other family members for contracting strep bacteria are very high. And the worst part is, the pathogen are transmittable even before the notable symptoms appear. To be more precise, a person after getting infected remains asymptomatic for about 2 – 4 days. This phase is known as the incubation period of strep infection, and the patient is contagious during this period too.
Despite the fact that strep throat is self-limiting, antibiotic treatment is usually followed to avoid worsening of the condition and more importantly, to lower risks of spreading the infection to others. Antibacterial treatment for strep throat also aids in shortening the sore throat episode. However, it is to be borne in mind that strep bacterium is transmittable within 24 hours after the start of antibacterial medications. Here’s how to prevent strep throat effectually.
Follow Respiratory Hygiene
Also known as cough etiquette, adopting respiratory hygiene is an important aspect in preventing all kinds of respiratory infections. The objective is to contain respiratory droplets and/or secretions released from the patient at the time of coughing and sneezing. While coughing and sneezing, a person having suspected strep throat symptoms should cover his/her mouth and nose with disposable tissue papers. After using them, tissues should be disposed off properly in no-touch waste receptacles.
Perform Hand Hygiene
Another basic step is to washing hands frequently, especially after touching contaminated objects and respiratory droplets. Preferably, use an antimicrobial soap and water for hand washing to prevent strep infection. In case of non-availability, one can use a regular soap with water for rinsing hands thoroughly. Likewise, hand sanitizers containing alcohol serve the same purpose for disinfecting hands and preventing strep infection.
Keep Safe Distance
This refers to maintaining distance from a person having strep throat symptoms. The objective is to avoid a healthy individual from coming into contact with the respiratory secretions that contain strep bacteria. In addition, personal belongings of the patient, right from clothing, bedding to toothbrush should not be shared at any cost. If one happens to touch them knowingly or unknowingly, washing hands immediately is an absolute necessity to prevent strep infection.
Stay Healthy and Fit
Tips for strep throat prevention also encompasses keeping oneself healthy and strong. Transmission rate is highest amongst people having a weak immune system and those residing in crowded areas. Thus, maintaining a strong immune system is of utmost importance for protection against streptococcal infection. For the same, eat a well-balanced diet, manage stress and engage in exercises. If required, take vitamins supplements and alike nutritional formulations to promote the body’s immunity level.
Follow the above instructions to prevent strep throat. These precautionary measures are also applicable for preventing strep throat during pregnancy. Also, women who are expecting should make a point to stay away from crowded places as far as possible.