Symptoms, causes, and treatments for
If your throat is irritated and it’s difficult to swallow, and you also have a fever and swollen lymph nodes, you may have strep throat. Not all sore throat symptoms mean you’re infected with streptococcal bacteria, so it’s important to know the difference between a sore throat and strep.
Symptoms associated with strep throat include:
Viral sore throats aren’t classified as strep throat, and are instead caused by some of the same viruses as a cold. Viral sore throats can accompany other cold-like symptoms including sneezes, coughs, and nasal drip.
Strep throat bacteria also attack your body much faster than a viral sore throat, which means you’ll likely show symptoms faster if you have strep. You should notice strep symptoms within five days of exposure.
Strep throat is a highly contagious bacterial infection. It’s generally spread through person-to-person contact with infected body fluids.
Common ways to spread strep throat include shaking hands with someone who has strep bacteria on their hands, or inhaling airborne droplets from someone’s cough or sneeze. You can also pick up strep from touching infected objects in the office or your home.
Even though strep throat won’t clear up without antibiotics, in most cases it isn’t life-threatening.
However, you should seek immediate medical attention if you have difficulty breathing. Also, children should see a doctor immediately if any of the following apply:
Consider these tips to help prevent strep throat: