Swamp-toed, web-footed disease is a condition that requires immediate action before irreparable damage can set in. Some believe its effects set in just as fast as strep throat. I’m sure you’ve thought about becoming swamp-toed as frequently as you’ve wondered why we are so scared of strep throat. In just a couple of days, a healthy person will produce enough antibodies to make themselves feel better. So WHY do we treat strep throat?

We treat strep throat to prevent rheumatic fever. Rheumatic fever is a condition where our body’s antibodies made to fight off strep throat start depositing themselves throughout the body. Collecting on and messing up the valves of the heart is bad and can lead to rheumatic heart disease. This irreversible condition can damage the heart valves and cause them to over time begin to leak. We can treat strep throat within the first two weeks of the starting symptom to prevent rheumatic heart disease. For this reason alone: Strep throat is NEVER an emergency. There are real $800 co-pays at the ER for the diagnosis of strep throat. Think of the medicinal ice cream $800 could buy! Monday morning it would be the same diagnosis and treatment options without a huge bill and an eight-hour Emergency Room wait.

We treat strep throat as a measure of prevention. The bacteria that cause strep throat can lead to other things, and cause very severe infections in other sites of the body, but the bacteria is not the reason we are treating. Some of the scary things caused by these bacteria happen if you treat the illness or not. Strep throat is spread directly from saliva: drinking after people (including water fountains), eating after people, kissing people or putting items in your mouth that have come in contact with an infected person’s saliva. Those cute toddler photos where little kids share a peck on the cheek: germ-laden incubators.

The main symptoms of strep throat are sore throat, fever, headache and abdominal pain. Sometimes a sandpaper rough rash on the trunk, neck, and face can appear. Little red dots may appear across the roof of the mouth and sometimes pus covers the tonsils. Sore throat plus a cough or runny nose means you feel like crud because of a cold not strep. Grab some tissue and go to bed.

Know this: Strep Throat is not an emergency! Don’t waste your money on emergency rooms for strep throat.

As for swamp-toed web-footed disease its main symptom is gullibility. Its effects are usually incurable.