The symptoms are fever, swollen glands in the neck, and a very raw and sore throat. That's the calling card of  strep pharyngitis or strep throat. Many citizens across our state have already been visited by this rather painful malady. In addition to the symptoms described earlier swollen tonsils and even white pustules can form in the back of the throat.

The disease is caused by bacteria. Its formal name is Streptococcus pyogenes. However, it is more commonly referred to as  group A streptococcus. Doctors across the state are starting to notice an  upswing in cases.

The condition is most common among youngsters ages five to  fifteen years old. That doesn't mean that if you fall out of that age category you can't get strep throat because you can. The test for strep can usually be done in your doctor's  office or in an urgent care or walk-in clinic. It involves a quick swab of the throat and it takes only a few minutes to confirm the condition.

In most cases strep throat is treated with antibiotics and patients usually feel better within 24 to 48 hours. However, the recommended course of treatment usually takes 10 days to complete.  The condition is spread through saliva. That means that you should not eat or drink after someone who has strep throat. You shouldn't kiss them either.

If someone near you has been diagnosed with the condition doctors suggest vigorous personal hygiene and frequent hand washing.