Preventing rheumatic fever
NHS Choices Medical Reference
Prompt treatment of a streptococcal throat infection with antibiotics will also help minimise the risk of the infection developing into rheumatic fever.
It can be hard to tell the difference between a viral infection of the throat (which does not require antibiotics) and a streptococcal throat infection.
Signs that a throat infection may be bacterial rather than viral include:
- the sudden onset of a sore throat,
pain on swallowing,
- high temperature (fever) of or above 38°C (100°F),
- vomiting, and
- abdominal pain.
Unlike viral infections, bacterial throat infections tend not to cause coughing, diarrhoea or a hoarse voice.
If you are concerned that you or your child may have a bacterial throat infection, contact your GP as they can arrange to take a swab from the throat, which can be used to confirm whether the infection is viral or bacterial in origin.