Strep throat is unpleasant to get every once in awhile, let alone getting it almost immediately after you thought you got rid of it.
Unfortunately, recurring strep throat can be a problem for many patients.
Strep is uncomfortable and can vary from mild to severe throat pain. That pain keeps you at home and away from work. It also eats into your time as you have to go back and forth between your urgent care, pharmacy, and home.
Keep reading if you’re prone to getting strep throat or have gotten strep a few times over the past few months.
Recurring strep throat can mean one of two things.
First, it can mean your round of antibiotics you were prescribed for strep did not rid your body of all the strep bacteria.
Second, it can refer to a person who gets strep frequently – usually several times each year.
If you’re the type of person who gets infected with strep several times a year, your doctor might recommend getting a tonsillectomy. He or she will typically wait until you’ve had strep 7 times in a full year. We should note that having a tonsillectomy will only reduce your chances of getting strep.
Having recurring strep throat is frustrating. Sometimes it seems like there’s no reason why you should still be getting it.
In some cases, you might be getting strep throat again because you picked up a strain of bacteria that are resistant to the antibiotics you were prescribed. Upon visiting your doctor, he might recommend a higher dosage or different antibiotic.
Other times, you might be reinfecting yourself by using the same toothbrush. The general rule of thumb is to throw out your toothbrush after being on antibiotics for 24 hours.
You might also get strep throat a lot because someone around you is a carrier for strep. Being a strep carrier means a person can carry the strep bacteria for months and not test positive or show symptoms of strep.
Finally, you could also be getting strep so often because your immune system is weak. Individuals with weakened immune systems include those with HIV/AIDS, are undergoing chemotherapy, or have received an organ transplant.
There are several steps you can take to ensure you don’t get reinfected with strep throat:
The more precautions you take, the less likely you are to get strep again.
While following these steps won’t always protect you from recurring strep throat, they can help reduce the frequency with which you contract strep.
Whenever you get strep, be sure to finish your antibiotics and contain your germs to help prevent reinfections.
If you think you have strep, check in with your local urgent care provider to confirm it.