Having Strep Throat Symptoms?

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May 27, 2024

This time of year, we have a lot of patients wondering whether or not their sore throat is just a cold or strep.  Sore throats are often caused by viruses, allergies, or (less commonly) bacteria.  Here are some common symptoms associated with sore throats:

  • Fever (usually less than 101)
  • Runny/stuffy nose
  • Cough
  • Congestion
  • Earache
  • Swollen glands
  • Pain with swallowing
  • Body aches

Home remedies that can help alleviate symptoms include:

  • Humidified air
  • Warm water salt gargles
  • Throat lozenges
  • Over the counter pain relievers such as acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Advil)
  • Tea, broth, or soup
  • Throat sprays such as Chloraseptic

If your sore throat lasts longer than 7-10 days, recurs frequently, doesn't respond to home remedies, or is associated with difficulty breathing, a rash, unusual drooling or inability to swallow, or muffled voice, it's time to be seen by a health care provider!

Strep throat, caused by a bacteria, usually presents differently than viral infections.  Symptoms of strep throat may include:

  • Swollen, red tonsils
  • High fever (usually 101 or higher)
  • White patches on the back of the throat and tonsils
  • Red spots on the roof of the mouth and back of the throat
  • Headache
  • Abdominal pain
  • Rash (known as scarlet fever)
  • Left untreated, rheumatic fever
  • Swollen lymph nodes under the jaw and ears

Strep throat can be detected easily with a rapid strep test at the Corner Clinic.  These tests are specific and sensitive. The test may miss a small percentage of people who have strep throat, so if it comes back negative,  the provider sometimes will send the swab for culture to see if any bacteria grow.  If the strep test comes back positive, antibiotics are prescribed.  

Most patients begin to feel better within 24-48 hours of taking the antibiotic.  It's important to finish the prescription of antibiotic even if you're feeling better!  Finishing the prescription ensures that all the bacteria are killed and helps lessen bacterial mutation and antibiotic resistance.  

Strep throat is contagious, as are viruses.  It's important to practice good hand hygiene, as well as other preventative measures to help the spread of infection.  

Got a sore throat? Don't spend hours waiting in the waiting room! At Corner Clinic, our up front pricing makes it easy to know ahead of time what your costs will be AND we can see you the same day! Most of our patients are in and out within 30 minutes. Stop by one of clinics today!