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New Strep Throat Guidelines

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The Infectious Diseases Society of America recently released a new set of guidelines for doctors to avoid inappropriate use of antibiotics that can lead to drug-resistant bacteria.

Research shows that up to 15 million people in the United States go to the doctor for a sore throat every year. As many as 70 percent of patients receive antibiotics for a sore throat, but only 20 percent of those patients have strep throat, according to the IDSA.

The new guidelines advised that when a strep infection is confirmed by testing, it should be treated with penicillin or amoxicillin, if the patient does not have an allergy, and not with an antibiotic such as cephalosporin.

Most importantly the patients with a sore throat do not need to be tested for strep throat if they have a cough, runny nose, hoarseness or mouth sores. These are strong signs of a viral infection.

In addition, children who have recurrent strep throat should not have their tonsils removed solely to reduce the frequency of throat infections, according to the guidelines.

SOURCE: Infectious Diseases Society of America, news release, Sept. 10, 2012