Sunday, January 8, 2023

Strep Throat

Anecdotal evidence suggests that there is a lot of Strep Throat locally right now.

Strep Throat often follows colds and other viral infections. It is primarily an opportunistic infection that takes advantage of the fact that frequent coughing and throat clearing irritates the throat and removes some of the protective layer of mucous.

If you read "symptoms" on the internet you will find countless repetitions of the words "...the back of the throat looks beefy..." While this may be totally clear to medical students it was not clear to me. I am made of meat. All of my inside parts look "beefy".

After way too much digging, what they mean is that the normal, whitish, filmy covering over the back of your tongue, upper mouth and throat is gone. The Strep bacteria displaced it.

Strep is nothing to screw around with if it doesn't clear up in a day or two. It can infect your heart valves and/or kidneys.


  1. Anecdotal evidence suggests that people's immune systems are a little like muscles - they need exercise to function efficiently. Having been in lockdown for over a year and the extensive use of hand sanitizer, people's immune systems aren't currently working well.

  2. Had strep when I was in high school and it did probaly come after an URI

  3. Strep is no joke. Hopefully "local anecdotal evidence" is not directly in the ERJ household.

  4. I've heard about lots of illnesses going around right now, of several types including a new CVD strain. I wonder if it's a semi regular cycle, a reduced immune system, or something else, possibly related to the recent unusual cold?
    Regardless, I'm not going to freak about it - it'll come and go like usual.

  5. Simply to make things more interesting, technically, the strep does not, itself, "infect" kidneys of heart. Some varieties of strep B produce a toxin that elicits a sort of autoimmune response, "rheumatic fever", which is readily prevented by antibiotics. Take note! The abx really do NOTHING for the sore throat (which, of course, is why we all see our doctors in the first place), rather, they protect us against a potential consequence of infection with certain varieties of Strep B which may trigger that response.

    Should one develop rheumatic fever, (which itself may be life changing), that may be followed by rheumatic heart disease, which can be a BFD (Big Freaking Deal), with scarring of the valves, leading to narrowing thereof, and requiring increased effort from your heart to force blood through them, leading to heart failure. This, also, is generally prevented by antibiotics (abx).

  6. Strong salt solution, warm, gargled multiple times a day will change the physical conditions in your throat to disadvantage strep.
    Start early, don't wait for a doctor's visit.

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