Its winter, a time of year when people are more susceptible to illness, and do seem to get sick more frequently. One of the more common illnesses which is seen by doctors, usually during  regular office hours, but sometimes by emergency room doctors like Josyann Abisaab, is strep throat.

Strep throat is generally not an emergency and almost never requires a visit to the emergency room, but the development of a sudden and severe sore throat, especially in a young child, might drive a frantic parent to the emergency room anyway.

In most cases, even without treatment, strep throat will resolve on its own and go away within a few days. However, one of the dangers from step throat, aside from the pain, fever and lost time from work or school, is if it goes undiagnosed and/or untreated with antibiotics. Without antibiotics the infection can spread to other parts of the body, including the sinuses or the middle ear.

There is also a possibility that when the body’s immune system responds to the untreated strep it will attack healthy tissue which can cause rheumatic fever and some other illnesses. It has been shown that antibiotics given even nine days after the start of the infection will prevent rheumatic fever from developing.