Strep throat cases on the rise in Central Virginia

By Ryan Nobles - bio | email

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Has your throat been feeling scratchy? Strep throat is going around! And stopping the spread is the key.

Strep throat is a highly contagious and uncomfortable illness. It's more than just a sore throat, and many times by the time you realize it is going around, it's too late.

It is the time of year when aches, pains, sneezes and fevers can be any number of problems. From allergies to the flu and many problems in between, sore throats are pretty common at Patient First in Henrico. But a sore throat isn't always a symptom that leads to a precise diagnosis.

"If you see ten sore throats in a day, statistically only one in ten turns out to be strep," said Dr. Ken Lucas from Patient First.

A sore throat is just one symptom in the many that attack your system when you contract an illness like strep. Chances are you also have as well as head and body aches.

It is a cocktail of ugliness that Dr. Lucas is seeing a bit more of in the past few weeks.

"It's sort of mixed in with a bunch of other respiratory illnesses like the true flu, influenza and just a lot of other viral illnesses," he said.

In part because when one person gets strep, it is likely that many people who come in close contact with that person could be in the line of fire.

"It is a very contagious thing if you get strep going for instance in a family there is probably between and 35% to 50% chance somebody else in the family might get it," said Lucas

That means washing hands, avoiding contact with a sick person, not sharing cups and other utensil. Those simple steps will help you stay healthy.

Most cases of strep can be treated with an anti-biotic. It usually takes 24-48 hours before the illness is no longer contagious, 5 to 7 days before someone suffering from it feels completely normal.

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