DETROIT (WWJ) – Your child comes home from school — complaining of a sore throat, upset stomach. Is it step throat, a cold or the flu? It’s an issue of concern for many parents and schools. WWJ spoke with Dr. Sudershan Grover at Children’s Hospital of Michigan to gain more clarity on the topic and help pondering parents.

Dr. Grover explains that strep throat is very common among young children and teens, and is very infectious when left untreated. Grover explains that strep throat starts with a sore throat, difficulty swallowing, stomach ache and a low-grade fever with temps around 99 to 101. He says the difference between strep throat and other illnesses is that these symptoms don’t include cough, cold or a runny nose.

Grover says strep throat is spread through air, saliva and contact. And for this reason he says it’s very important that parents emphasize to school-age children the importance of washing their hands. “Handwashing and hygiene is very, very important because they touch their nose and then they touch the other kids and [it] spreads from one to another,” says Grover.

Dr. Grover says kids usually start feeling better within 24 hours of taking antibiotics, but parents must continue the treatment for the prescribed 10 days because your child is still contagious for about 3 weeks. Says Grover, “Within 24 hours children start getting better and the tendency is not to finish the treatment, [but]… they remain contagious up to 21 days so it’s very important that they should be treated for ten days.”