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Strep Throat Information

Unlike a cold or allergies, strep throat needs to be confirmed with a throat culture and treated with antibiotics.

Students who test positive for strep throat need to be out of school for at least 24 hours after treatment has begun, fever has subsided, and they feel well enough to resume a full day of school activities.  The school nurse should be notified of positive strep throat cases, even if they are diagnosed and treated over the weekend/school vacations.

Please take the following precautions and consult your physician with any concerns. 

  1. Watch your child for signs of a sore throat and other symptoms that may accompany strep (headache, fever, swollen glands/ tender neck glands, upset stomach)
  2. If your child develops a sore throat along with other symptoms of strep, please see your health care provider, them that other children in your child’s class are currently being treated for strep and have your child tested.
  3. Symptoms of strep throat may start with an upset stomach, headache and/or fever before the sore throat.

Information about strep throat:

What is it strep throat? Strep throat is an infection caused by streptococcus bacteria.  It is most common among school-aged children, especially during the colder month and in crowded situations.  It is transmitted person-to-person through respiratory secretions and are especially passed in households.  The incubation period is 2-5 days.  People with strep are generally most infectious during their acute illness.  They continue to be infectious until they have received treatment for a day or so.  Most sore throats, however, are caused by viruses and are not treated with antibiotics.

How is it diagnosed? How is it treated? A laboratory test, such as a throat culture or a rapid test is needed to confirm a strep infection. Strep infections are usually treated with an oral antibiotic, starting either with characteristic symptoms or after a strep test is positive. Sometimes an injection of antibiotic may also be used to treat strep.

Why is it important that your child receive treatment? If strep is not treated or not treated long enough, your child may continue to spread the infection to other members of your family or to other children.   Treatment with antibiotics can usually prevent Rheumatic Fever (abnormalities of the heart valves and inflammation of the joints) or Scarlet Fever (is a type of streptococcal infection characterized by an associated skin rash. The rash usually consists of fine, red bumps that feel sandpapery and usually appear on the neck, chest, groin, and/or inner surface of the knees, thighs, and elbows.   It may also last only a few hours.  Other than a rash, clinical symptoms are the same as strep throat).

When can your child return to school? Children with strep infections may return to school after taking medicine for at least 24 hours, providing their fever is gone and they feel well enough to be in school for the full day.

      How do you stop the spread of strep throat?

  • Thoroughly wash your hands and your child’s hands after wiping noses and before eating or preparing food.
  • Change your child’s toothbrush and toothpaste 24 hours after starting antibiotics.
  • Wash dishes carefully in hot, soapy water or in a dishwasher.
  • Do not allow the sharing of food or allow children to share cups, spoons, or toys that are put in the mouth.
  • Complete the entire course of the antibiotics prescribed by your doctor and call your physician if symptoms return following completion of treatment.  

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Strep Throat