Can I Tell the Difference Between Strep Throat and COVID-19?

Getting sick at this time of year is common, and it will be even more common as the colder months approach. Spending more time indoors surrounded by people increases your exposure to all kinds of viruses and bacteria.

If you start to experience a sore throat, it may be due to an impending infection. COVID-19, strep throat and influenza all have the ability to cause a sore throat, among other frustrating symptoms.

Come see us at AFC Urgent Care South Charlotte for a rapid test! Read on to learn more about the similarities between these illnesses and why getting tested is important.

What Symptoms Should I Look For?

Infections are really contagious and can be spread through direct contact with infected people, by breathing in respiratory droplets from an uncovered cough or sneeze, or by touching an infected surface and then not washing your hands. Strep throat is bacterial while COVID-19 and the flu are viral, but they can all make you feel pretty sick once you start experiencing symptoms.

A sore throat, fever, headache and body aches are common for all three infections, so you may not know immediately what illness is making you feel sick. That’s why a rapid test is important! They can help pinpoint your illness in a matter of minutes that can then lead us into a more reliable diagnosis and treatment plan.

Rapid Tests We Perform at AFC Urgent Care South Charlotte

  • COVID-19
  • Influenza
  • Strep throat

Are There Any Differences in Symptoms for Strep Throat and COVID-19?

Strep throat tends to affect your throat more specifically than COVID-19, causing severe pain when swallowing, swollen tonsils or causes white patches to appear on the back of your throat. If you notice any of these symptoms, a quick visit to us for a diagnosis and a prescription for a round of antibiotics will have you feeling better in just a few days.

COVID-19 and the flu share similar symptoms, but the exposure time and duration of the illnesses is where they differ. The flu can have you feeling really sick in two or three days after exposure, while COVID-19 can take up to two weeks to cause symptoms, and those symptoms tend to last longer than flu symptoms. In any case, rest and hydration are key to feeling better faster, and one of the antiviral drugs on the market can help minimize or control your symptom severity.

Symptoms That COVID-19 and the Flu Share

  • Fatigue
  • Shortness of breath
  • Runny nose
  • Fever

Need help determining what is making you sick? Stop by AFC Urgent Care South Charlotte for a rapid test.