Overview of Streptococcal Pharyngitis & Influenza

Modified: 18th May 2020
Wordcount: 1950 words

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Streptococcal Pharyngitis – Strep Throat

Streptococcal Pharyngitis, that is also known as strep throat is a bacterial infection that is mainly caused by group A streptococcus. This is an infection that is at the back of the throat and infects the tonsils. Strep throat is generally transmitted by direct contact with the mucus or sores of someone else who has strep. Strep throat can spread by airborne respiratory droplets (coughs or sneezes) or by saliva (kissing or sharing drinks). Some common symptoms of strep throat may include a sore and scratchy throat, a fever, enlarged lymph nodes in the neck and red swollen tonsils. However, it could also lead to a headache, nausea and vomiting. Some people also experience pain when they are trying to swallow certain supplements that may be hard, tough and scratchy as the pain in the neck/throat may be very tender. This bacterial infection is targeted at the lungs, nose and throat, young children, older adults, pregnant women and most people that may have a chronic disease or a weak immune system are at high risk of catching streptococcal pharyngitis.

Life Process

Streptococcal Pharyngitis is a bacterial infection that invades the body through transferred airborne saliva droplets, this could either be from a kiss, sneeze or cough or even by touching contaminated surfaces like a doorknob, which can then be transferred to your nose, mouth or eyes. Once the Streptococcus enters through the body, mouth nose or eyes the germs then attack the tissues of your throat and then they latch onto the cells which are the lining in the throat or tonsils which then reproduce. However certain areas of the throat could swell just like the tonsils do if this happens it means that it is a sign that your immune system is trying to fight the infection and the white blood cells are attacking the foreign bodies. This then creates inflammation which is characterised by redness, swelling, pain and general fever. Therefore as the bacteria grows, the pain in the throat will start to develop and then a fever will start which signals that your body is still fighting the infection.  


There are many ways that humans can come in contact with this micro-organism, one way however that streptococcal pharyngitis can be spread is when a healthy person or people come in contact with someone else who has an extreme case of streptococcal pharyngitis. Humans like us can also be affected through normal everyday person to person transmission, this could include transmissions such as saliva, or nasal secretions that have come from an infective person. It has been said that humans are the main primary reservoir for group A strep, the reason for this is because there is no study/evidence to that show that pets can transmit the infection to humans. 



Streptococcal Pharyngitis is treatable by a medical professional. The treatment for this bacterial infection is important to reduce complications. One way you can treat this infection is through oral antibiotics such as penicillin this is the most commonly used antibiotic. Other medicines such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen can help with pain and fever. Penicillin stops the growth it kills certain bacteria inside that infection. You can also use treatments such as self-care this could include things like throat lozenges which can help soothe the throat. To prevent yourself from getting strep throat is by washing your hands and to not share eating utensils. However, a major treatment that you can get if you have this bacterial infection (more than three a year) is called Tonsillectomy, this is a surgical procedure where they fully remove the infected tonsils at the back of the throat. Most people get this procedure which results in them having fewer less sore throats. These treatments can affect the life process of Streptococcal Pharyngitis because by having antibiotics it will fight against the bacterial infection and it will kill the spores of the living organism which will result in the bacterial infection from growing, reproducing and replicating 



Influenza which is also known as the flu is a very common viral infection. Influenza infects the nose, throat and lungs and is normally worse than a cold. This infection is generally caught by airborne respiratory droplets (coughs and sneezes), skin to skin contact (hugs and handshakes), saliva (kissing or sharing drinks) and by touching a contaminated surface such as a doorknob. Some common symptoms of the flu include fever, chills, muscle aches, cough, congestion, runny nose and headaches. However, there are two main types of influenza (flu virus) which is type A and type B, both of these influenza viruses spread through most people who are affected and are generally responsible for seasonal flu epidemics each year. Influenza type A can be broken down into sub-types, the only reason why they can do this is that it all depends on the genes that then make up the surface proteins, which is then broken down into sub-types.

Life Process

When influenza gets into the body by airborne droplets it then moves down and into the respiratory tract, once it is there it then attaches to the surface of the cells. Straight after this happens the virus then opens up and releases its genetic information (as seen in the picture) into the cell’s nucleus. After this cycle influenza reproduces by the virus replicating or copying itself which then allows it to take over in the functions of the cell. Influenza can then respire through airborne droplets such as sneezing or coughing, however, it has been said that a new case study shows that people who do have the flu can easily spread it with the air by just breathing it around which means that others around that infected person will potentially catch it. Influenza can also excrete but it hasn’t been said exactly how. 



Humans can come into contact for influenza by person to person contact, most experts have noticed that the flu virus mainly spreads through the droplets whether the infected person coughs, sneezes or talks. When this happens those droplets can then land in the nose or mouth of the uninfected person who is nearby or they could possibly inhale it into the lungs, However a person may even get the flu from touching a surface that has this infection of flu virus on it and then touching their own mouth nose and even their ears aswell. Humans can also catch the influenza virus by virus-laden aerosols, these are a collection of pathogen-laden particles that are in the air which then results with the aerosol maybe being deposited onto or inhaled through the human’s respiratory tract.



Influenza known as the flu can be treated primarily with rest and fluids, this helps the body fight the infection on its own. However, sometimes the nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug which can help with the common symptoms, but can also relieve pain, reduce your fever and can decrease inflammation. Other treatments that can help influenza are self-care options which could include bed rest, reducing activities for a short period of time, throat lozenges which will help soothe the throat, cough medicines which will block the cough reflex. Depending on what medicine you use some could thin or loosen the mucus which would make it easier to then clear the airways. An annual vaccination could help prevent the flu and will limit its complications, therefore eliminating the effects of the life processes.

Bibliography – information is off the following sites


Streptococcal pharyngitis




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