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strep throat duration

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  • With immediate and antibiotic-free treatment, strep throat can improve in two to five days, up to a week.
  • Immediate treatment of strep throat is very crucial not just for quick recovery, but because an untreated case of strep throat can lead to further complications.
 

How Long Does Strep Throat Last?

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With immediate and antibiotic-free treatment, strep throat can improve in two to five days, up to a week.1,2

Trying natural pain relief techniques and treatment methods (such as wild cherry bark lozenges), drinking liquids such as pure water, vegetable juice, and green tea, gargling with a Himalayan salt and water mixture, and eating a healthy, real food diet can greatly help at this stage.3

Immediate treatment of strep throat is very crucial not just for quick recovery, but because an untreated case of strep throat can lead to further complications, such as:4,5,6

  • Otitis media: infection that spreads to the middle ear
  • Mastoiditis: infection of the mastoid bone located in the skull
  • Pneumonia: infection in the lungs
  • Meningitis: infection that goes into the lining of the brain and spinal canal
  • Abscess formation: a pus-filled infection that develops in the back of the tonsils (peritonsillar abscess) or the throat (retropharyngeal abscess)
  • Sinusitis: inflammation of the lining of the sinuses7
  • Acute rheumatic fever: inflammatory disease wherein antibodies from the body’s immune system attack the joints, the heart, and the skin
  • Post-streptococcal glomerulonephritis: inflammation of the kidneys most common between children ages 2 to 12
  • Scarlet fever: toxins coming from the strep infection can cause a scarlet-colored rash to develop on different parts of the body
  • Guttate psoriasis: a condition that causes small, red, and teardrop-shaped spots to appear on the body
  • Streptococcal toxic shock syndrome: although rare, it’s a potentially life-threatening illness that can lead to fever, rash, and low blood pressure levels

Prolonging a case of strep throat also enables strep bacteria to spread all over the body and cause other infections in the tonsils, blood, and the skin. The patient may also develop bad breath because of the growth of tonsilloliths, or tonsil stones, which are calcified or hardened “debris lodged in the crevices of your tonsils.”8,9

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