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Our oldest daughter seems to get two to three strep throat infections a year. Our two younger children don't seem to show any signs of the infection. Should they be tested for strep throat when our daughter has it?

Dear Dr. Cory:

Our oldest daughter seems to get two to three strep throat infections a year. Our two younger children don't seem to show any signs of the infection. Should they be tested for strep throat when our daughter has it?

Dear Ms. Chapman:

Only if your children are showing symptoms of strep throat (after having had contact with the infection) should they have a throat culture or a rapid strep test. You are probably very familiar with the symptoms by now, though they seem to depend somewhat on the child's age.

Infants may have just a low fever with a thickened nasal discharge. Toddlers may have a slight fever, sore throat, and swollen lymph nodes in the neck. They may also act fussy and unwilling to eat much. Older children show more symptoms of distress, such as an extremely painful sore throat, fever over 102 [degrees] F, headache, and swollen and tender lymph nodes in the neck. The back of the throat may look raw and red. Pus may be present on the tonsils. Children are also more likely to have nausea, vomiting, and abdominal pain with strep throat.

Since strep throat symptoms vary from child to child and from age to age, you should call your pediatrician any time your child has a persistent sore throat (with or without the other symptoms). He or she can then rule out something more serious, such as strep throat.

Sincerely, Cory SerVass, M.D.
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Title Annotation:Ask Doctor Cory
Author:SerVaas, Cory
Publication:Humpty Dumpty's Magazine
Date:Jan 1, 1998
Words:244
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