How to Know if You Have A Sore Throat or Strep Throat?

By August 21, 2018Health
women who has sore throat

Sore Throat? Find Out If It’s a Cold or Strep Throat

Sore throats are very common and can be triggered by things like viruses, bacteria, allergens, postnasal drip, or even smoke. Generally, sore throats resolve on their own. However, sometimes a sore throat can indicate a larger health concern. Strep throat is caused by a streptococcus bacteria and is contagious. Be sure you know the differences between the two so that you can stay on top of your health and wellbeing.

Sore Throat

Pharyngitis (sore throat) is usually caused by viruses. There are many different viruses that cause a sore throat, including allergies. If an allergy is triggering a sore throat, this can be resolved by treating the allergy with over the counter medications. If it is a virus, the throat pain may be present for 3 to 5 days.

Sore throat symptoms include:

  • Cough
  • Congestion
  • Running nose
  • Sometimes a fever

What is Strep Throat?

Strep throat is a bacterial infection that causes inflammation in the back of the throat. Streptococcal bacteria are highly contagious. They can spread through airborne droplets when someone with the infection coughs or sneezes, or through shared food or drinks. You can also pick up the bacteria from a doorknob or other surface and transfer them to your nose, mouth or eyes.

Strep throat symptoms include:

  • Sore throat
  • Red and swollen tonsils, sometimes with white patches or streaks of pus
  • Swollen and tender lymph nodes in your neck
  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Stomach ache
  • Vomiting
  • Abdominal pain

As opposed to a cold or the flu, strep throat generally doesn’t trigger a cough or a runny nose. While it can present itself in any individual, younger children may face additional symptoms, including abdominal pain, fever, and vomiting without any complaint of a sore throat.

Generally, strep throat is not an emergency and a swab to test for strep is recommended so that overprescribing of antibiotics can be avoided. At Sand Canyon Urgent Care, our staff will provide treatment for common family illnesses and injuries. For minor to moderate injuries and medical issues, visit usCall us today for more information about our Irvine and Stanton centers.