Strep is the informal term for streptococcus (STREP-TOE-KOK-US), a common bacteria that causes such symptoms as a sore throat, swollen lymph glands and fever. It's common in children, who can spread it quickly in school or at play. The bacteria is carried through the air whenever an infected person coughs or sneezes. Your doctor can prescribe an antibiotic to combat the bacteria, and your child should get lots of rest and liquids. Soft foods should be consumed during recovery to avoid further irritation to the inflamed throat. Strep throat differs from a cold in that it won't go away by itself and proper medication is necessary. Otherwise, it can progress to more serious conditions like rheumatic (ROO-MAT-ICK) fever or inflammatory diseases affecting the kidneys. Examination by your doctor or an ear, nose and throat specialist will ensure that your child recovers from a case of strep throat as quickly as possible.