Your child just got over a nasty case of strep throat and is back in school and feeling well. But suddenly, you start to notice the signs of the illness coming back. Could they have possibly picked up strep throat more than once in such a short time? Unfortunately, it’s possible, and sadly, some children are more susceptible to strep throat than others.
At Express Lane Urgent Care, Dr. Stephen Wesely and the rest of our team have seen more than our fair share of strep throat cases. We’ve also seen multiple children come in with the same illness over and over.
Researchers are starting to understand the cause of this problem, but until they find out for sure, keep in mind that there are a number of ways you can help your child avoid getting strep throat.
The genetic case for recurring strep throat
Strep throat is an infection caused by the A streptococcus bacteria. A child who gets strep throat experiences symptoms such as fever, swollen tonsils, and a sore throat. It can be a highly unpleasant experience, especially if it happens often.
Fortunately, we may now have a medical understanding of why certain children experience recurring strep throat while others do not. According to the findings of a recent study that were published in February 2019, researchers found that tonsils removed from children who experienced recurring strep throat actually had a genetically poor reaction to A streptococcus.
This reaction was checked against the medical histories of the children, and a possible genetic link was determined. Soon, it might be possible for Dr. Wesely to determine if your child is likely to get strep throat more often than their peers.
Preventing strep throat
Though a susceptibility to strep throat does seem to be genetic, there are many ways you can help prevent your child from getting the illness often and regularly — though perhaps not in the way you think. While surgery to remove the tonsils used to be considered the best solution, that approach has fallen out of favor, as it can cause problems down the road, and strep can still occur.
Instead, use these methods to help your child prevent strep throat:
- Encourage your child to wash their hands often.
- Keep the surfaces in your home clean, especially those your child constantly touches.
- Remind your child to cover their mouth whenever they sneeze or cough.
- Find out what kind of hygiene program your child has at school, and see if you can get involved.
- Keep your child home from school if they exhibit symptoms of an illness, even if it’s just a light cold.
In addition, the study mentioned above may potentially lead to a vaccination. For now, however, observing the rules of proper hygiene is the best way to avoid strep throat.
Want to learn more about strep throat?
If your child has strep throat often and you want to learn more about how you can prevent it, call 209-664-1550. We’d be happy to set up an appointment for you and your child to see Dr. Wesely in his Turlock, California, office.