Health: Is It Strep Throat?

Doctors overprescribe antibiotics for sore throats. What you can do about it

A sore throat is one of the most common reasons for seeing a doctor. Most of the time the cause is viral, and you can ease your suffering with chicken soup and a painkiller like acetaminophen. But sometimes the problem is a kind of bacteria called group A streptococcus--or strep, for short. That's when antibiotics like penicillin or erythromycin come in handy. Early spring is a peak season for strep throat. If you have a sore throat that is accompanied by a fever but not a cough, your lymph nodes are swollen and there are yellow or white patches on your...

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