Causes of Strep Throat

Strep throat is one of several infections caused by group A Streptococcus bacteria. Strep is very contagious and is spread from person to person through contact with saliva or nasal discharge.

Coughing, sneezing, and shaking hands are typical ways that the infection is spread, but the bacteria can also live on surfaces such as books, countertops, shared computers, and other objects that have been touched by an infected person.

Children who are in school or daycare are at increased risk for strep throat. Some studies have indicated that 10–15 percent of school-age children and adolescents are asymptomatic carriers of strep throat (i.e., do not develop symptoms but can transmit infection).

Publication Review By: Stanley J. Swierzewski, III, M.D.

Published: 27 Aug 2008

Last Modified: 06 Oct 2015