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What Is Strep Throat?

Difference Between a Sore Throat & Strep Throat

Getting a sore throat at least once a year is pretty common—especially during the cold months or flu season. However, if your sore throat is more severe and persists you may be suffering from the more serious strep throat. Unlike a usual sore throat caused by a cold virus, a strep throat is an illness caused by a streptococcal bacteria that needs a doctor’s diagnosis and treatment. Strep throat is easily passed from person to person and if left untreated, can lead to more severe infections and illnesses, such as a rheumatic fever that affects the heart valves.

Common Symptoms of Strep Throat

Strep throat can affect children and adults of all ages, but the symptoms can be more severe for young children.

Below are the most common symptoms of a strep throat:

  • Sudden pain in the throat
  • Trouble swallowing
  • Red and swollen tonsils
  • Tonsils has white patches or streaks of pus
  • High fever
  • Headache
  • Rash
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Body aches

There are also some cases wherein individuals carrying a strep bacteria will show no symptoms at all. Other times, individuals who manifest all these symptoms are not suffering from strep throat, but from virus infections or other illnesses instead. This is why it is important to go to your doctor even if you think that you just have the common flu. Early diagnosis of a strep throat can prevent you from infecting other people and start treatment as soon as possible.

Avoiding Strep Throat

To avoid getting a strep throat, the best thing to do is to avoid contact with anyone who has been showing strep throat symptoms. It is also good practice to wash your hands frequently to prevent you from picking up the strep bacteria.

If you already have strep throat, make sure to listen to your doctor’s advice and stick to your medications. You may also want to contain your sickness by staying at home and washing your hands often to prevent the spread of bacteria.

This article contains general information about medical conditions and treatments. The information is not advice and should not be treated as such. The information is not intended to replace the advice or diagnosis of a physician. If you have any specific questions about any medical matter you should consult your doctor or other professional healthcare providers.