Majority of infections of the pharynx or pharyngitis are caused by viral illnesses. There is another very important group that causes pharyngitis which is Group A Streptococcus. This infection can lead to complications such as Rheumatic Fever and glomerulonephritis, or kidney inflammation. Rheumatic fever can lead to the damage of the valves of the heart. It is very important to recognize and treat Strep A pharyngitis.
Patients are present with fever, sore throat, and may have enlargement of the lymph nodes of the neck. Upon examination, the pharynx is inflamed, and in Strep A, exudates or pus covers the pharynx. Most viral pharyngitis does not produced exudates.
Diagnosis is by throat swab, and a rapid stress test can be done. A rapid stress is equivalent to a positive throat culture.
Penicillin is the drug of choice.
Rheumatic fever is the most well-known complication of Strep pharyngitis, but the incidence is very low. Other complications include middle ear infections or otitis media, mastoiditis, or inflammation of the air cells behind the ear, and sinusitis. Pneumonia is also another possible complication as is peritonsillar abscess.
|Posted By : Dr. Sunitha, NJ, USA
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