Do I Just Have a Sore Throat or Is It Strep Throat?

Strep throat is one of the more common bacterial infections that you can get at an early age. While it is most common between the ages of 5 and 15, adults can get strep throat, too. In fact, the CDC states that approximately 11,000 and 24,000 Americans fall ill to the infection every year.

It’s safe to say that you probably know that one of the most common symptoms of strep throat is a sore throat, so how are you supposed to know if your sore throat is a sign of something more serious? Read on as our team at AFC Urgent Care South Charlotte provides you with the information that you need to know!

What Is Strep Throat?

Strep throat is an infection in the throat and tonsils caused by bacteria called group A Streptococcus, or group A strep, for short.

Strep lives in the nose and throat and is most commonly spread by coughing or sneezing, which spreads respiratory droplets into the air that contain the strep bacteria. If you experience any of the symptoms that we’ve listed below, you likely have strep throat.

Common Strep Throat Symptoms

  • Sudden sore throat
  • Red tonsils that have white spots on them
  • Pain when swallowing
  • Fever
  • Swollen neck glands
  • Loss of appetite
  • Headache
  • Abdominal pain

How Do I Know If I Only Have a Sore Throat?

Oftentimes, a sore throat is a sign of something a little more serious, but it doesn’t always mean strep throat. One of the best ways to tell whether or not you have strep throat is by the presence of a cough. A cough is not a symptom of strep throat, while it is a symptom of a cold virus.

If you have a sore throat, no cough and any of the previously mentioned symptoms, then it’s time to visit the doctor. If your doctor suspects strep, a simple, painless and quick rapid strep test can confirm the diagnosis. If the test comes back positive, your doctor will likely prescribe antibiotics to help you recover. We’ve listed some additional at-home remedies to help you feel better below.

At-Home Remedies for Strep Throat

  • Taking over-the-counter pain medication, like ibuprofen and acetaminophen
  • Gargling saltwater
  • Sipping warm beverages, like tea with honey or lemon
  • Using a humidifier to keep your throat and mouth from drying out

Strep throat can be quite painful, but it’s treatable! Don’t hesitate to visit AFC Urgent Care South Charlotte today if you are feeling under the weather.