Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"Why do I get strep throat so often?"
I have had strep throat 3 times in the last year and a half. My doctor has tested me before and it has come back positive and negative, but my symptoms are the same every time. I am 34 years old and a male in otherwise good health.
Sorry to hear that you have had so many episodes of sore throat! One important thing to remember is that sore throat symptoms can be caused by many different types of infections. Strep throat is definitely one of those infections, and it is important not to miss a strep throat infection because untreated strep throat can cause certain other problems, such as rheumatic heart fever (problems with the valves in the heart). However, at the same time it is much more common for the sore throat symptoms to be caused by one of several viruses. You can get the same scratchy throat feeling and swollen glands from a viral infection! This is why, if you think you might have a throat infection, you should see your doctor. If the strep throat test is negative, this makes the chance of a strep throat infection less likely and a viral infection more likely. The reason for doing this test is to avoid unnecessarily prescribing antibiotics for a viral infection, as antibiotics have various side and also can cause resistant bacteria to evolve. Again, please discuss with your doctor for more information.
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