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How Can I Stop Recurring Strep Throat?

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Updated December 02, 2010

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Question: How Can I Stop Recurring Strep Throat?
Strep throat can be painful, expensive and inconvenient. Some people seem to have an affinity for developing this illness while others may never be infected. Recurring strep throat can often affect the entire family. Here's what you can do to stop recurring strep throat.
Answer:

To Stop Recurring Strep Throat:

1. Finish all of your antibiotics when you have a strep infection, even if you feel better. If the bacteria is not completely destroyed, it will come back stronger than ever.

2. During the first 24 hours after you start an antibiotic, you are still able to spread strep throat to others. Stay at home, cover your mouth, wash your hands, and do not share drinks, utensils, or lip balm.

3. Throw your toothbrush away 24 hours after you start a course of antibiotics. If you keep the same toothbrush you can reinfect yourself with strep after your antibiotics are finished.

4. Keep toothbrushes separate. Do not use toothbrush holders that allow your family's toothbrushes to touch.

5. Do not share a bed with someone in your family until you have been taking antibiotics for at least 24 hours.

6. Identify strep carriers. This is common clinical practice and can be effective, but it hasn't been proven to work in the literature. A strep carrier has the streptococcus bacteria in their throat but they do not show symptoms. It is possible for these people to have strep for months or even years without knowing it, all the while inadvertently infecting other people. If your family has had a lot of recurring strep throat all family members should be tested for strep throat. Once carriers have been treated with antibiotics they will no longer be contagious.

7. When all else fails talk to your doctor about the option of having your tonsils removed. Only you and your doctor can decide if this is the best treatment option to stop your recurring strep throat.

Sources:

Medline Plus. Health Tip: Help Prevent the Spread of Strep Throat. Accessed: November 20, 2010 from http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/news/fullstory_103591.html

Medline Plus. Strep Throat. Accessed: November 20, 2010 from http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/000639.htm

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