How Long is Strep Throat Contagious – Home Remedies

Strep throat is one of the most unpleasant infections you can get, similar to a cold in how it presents itself, but is far more severe.  In strep throat, the infection gets into your lymph nodes on top of the normal modes of attack that the cold takes, leading to severely achy joints where movement itself may be painful. The biggest problem is that strep throat can become a bit more complicated, leading to long term damage or more severe illness, so treatment is key.  How long the illness itself lasts can vary, with anti-biotic treatment you can stop being contagious within 24 hours and the symptoms may be relieved within a few (perhaps 5) days.  Those who do not get treated may have symptoms for anywhere from 10 days to several weeks, with contagiousness being possible for a few weeks after symptoms stop.  Until then, treatment is very important!

The most common major complaint with strep throat is its namesake; serious throat pain that may stop you from being able to even talk.  Unsurprisingly some of the best treatments you can pursue are for helping alleviate the terrible soreness.  Honey is a well-used treatment, mixed into tea or warm water it will help soothe the soreness.  Likewise gargling several times each day with a mixture of salt water, drinking cool liquids or enjoying a good popsicle, using lozenges, and a cool mist vaporizer or humidifier will help minimize throat pain.

There are also many herbal options to help manage the infection which can reduce the irritation and inflammation in the throat, including licorice, marshmellow and slippery helm.  There have also been studies of some herbs that actually have anti-bacterial properties with some real scientific studies.  In a 2010 issue of Phytomedicine a lab published their study showing that echinacea may help render Streptococcus pyogenes bacteria inactive. In another study in 2010 another lab published a study in the   Journal of Medical Microbiology indicating that compounds found in garlic may inhibit the activity of streptolysin O (a protein that is produced by Group A Streptococcus bacteria), so may help stop the illness.

These natural remedies can do a lot to get you feeling much better, or at least a lot less miserable when faced with strep throat, on top of normal cold and flu remedies.  The most important but to keep in mind, however, is that while we are normally very strong proponents of natural treatments (especially on the matter of the highly damaging use of anti-biotics), but while it is a rare occurrence, strep throat that goes untreated by antibiotics has a chance to lead to serious complications, specifically a rheumatic fever.  This is an inflammatory disease that can cause permanent damage to your heart, so is very serious if it occurs.  Go ahead and utilize these natural remedies, but if you get a serious sore throat, a fever that starts very suddenly, and symptoms such as a headache, stomach ache and nausea, chills, severe difficulty swallowing, and swollen lymph nodes, you should see a doctor to ensure that a case of strep throat does not go untreated.

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