Why Does Strep Throat Keep Coming Back?

For many, strep throat is a one-and-done deal, but for some, recurring strep throat is a painful reality (pun intended). The juggle of the back and forth from home to the doctor to the pharmacy is a source of frustration and demand on time, resulting in missed school and work. Many families are left wondering, “Why does this keep happening?” 


Here are a few of the most common reasons why strep throat keeps coming back: 


1. Quitting treatment before completion

We’ve heard many parents admit they quit antibiotic treatment before completion due to forgetfulness or the child feeling better. What parents don’t realize is for antibiotics to work effectively and for strep throat not to come back, you must take all doses of the prescribed antibiotic. Adherence to the total dosage will save time, money, and pain in the long run. 


2. Antibiotic resistance

There are forms of strep bacteria resistant to the normally prescribed antibiotics (penicillin and amoxicillin). If you find that the strep throat is not clearing up or getting better, reach out to your doctor for a new treatment plan and prescription. 


3. Unknown carriers

Like asymptomatic individuals with COVID-19, some individuals have no idea they are carriers of the strep bacteria. Evaluate the individuals you are in close contact with daily to determine who may cause the continual infection. Note: although rare, household pets can be carriers of strep bacteria, so you may need to add Fido to the list of culprits. 


4. Improper cleanup 

Does your family share a toothbrush holder? Did you forget to throw out the old toothbrush(es) and clean all surrounding surfaces, including the holder itself? Sometimes the main reason for recurring strep throat is as simple as a lack of clean-up. Ensure you are cleaning up all spaces and places the strep bacteria may have contaminated. 


If strep throat keeps coming back, continue to connect with your doctor for an action plan. If you have more than seven strep throat diagnoses in a single year, your doctor may suggest a tonsillectomy. However, it is still possible to contract strep throat without tonsils, so be sure to refer to the potential reasons for recurring strep throat as listed above. 

While you continue to deal with recurring strep throat, you can minimize your painful symptoms with a few natural at-home remedies. Check out 7 Natural Sore Throat Remedies to ease the pain while you wait for a solution.