Health Care

Is Your Sore Throat Actually Strep?

A woman drinking tea in her kitchen.

Know What to Do for a Sore Throat

When you’ve got a sore throat, it can be hard to eat, drink and focus until you know why it’s hurting. While viruses are usually to blame, for about 10% of adults — and up to 30% of kids — the culprit is a bacterial infection caused by group A Streptococcus, or “strep.”

If you’re worried about a scratchy throat, a rapid test at Centra Care can offer answers. Our team is here for you seven days a week, with online reservations available.

How to Tell if It's Strep

The symptoms of strep throat usually begin suddenly. The sore throat can range from mild to severe, and may be accompanied by other symptoms, including:

  • Chills
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Fever that begins suddenly
  • General discomfort or ill feeling
  • Headache
  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea
  • Red throat, sometimes with white patches
  • Stomachache
  • Tender, swollen lymph nodes in the neck

Only a health care provider can diagnose strep throat, but the test is simple and only takes a few minutes. Since these symptoms can also overlap with COVID-19, your provider might also recommend additional testing.

Know Your Next Steps for Strep

If you have strep, your doctor will likely prescribe antibiotics to clear up the infection and prevent it from spreading to others. You should stay home from work or school until you are fever-free and have taken the antibiotics for at least 24 hours.

Our Centra Care physicians care for lots of children and adults with strep throat at this time of year. If you need a test or help soothing your sore throat, we’ll be here.

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