Sore Throat vs. Strep Throat: What’s the Difference?

Wednesday, October 10th, 2018, 11:07 pm

A sore throat is an unpleasant feeling, but if it’s been lingering for a few days you might worry that you actually have strep throat. It’s important to know the difference so you can seek medical attention quickly. Here’s what you should know about the difference between a sore throat and strep throat.

Signs You Just Have a Sore Throat

A sore throat, formally known as pharyngitis, is caused by minor irritation of the soft tissues in the throat. You might have developed a sore throat as a result of the common cold or the flu. Most sore throat symptoms occur suddenly and last a few days. It’s also possible for allergies, dry air, heartburn, and polluted air to cause a sore throat.

Symptoms of a sore throat include the following:

  • Red and swollen throat

  • Painful swallowing of food and liquids

  • Inflamed tonsils

How Is Strep Throat Different?

Strep throat is a more serious version of a sore throat because it is caused by bacteria called Streptococci. The bacteria can be passed from person to person, which is why strep throat is a common condition among school-age children. The bacterial infection triggered by strep throat causes symptoms that a normal, minor sore throat does not:

  • Chills

  • Fatigue

  • Headache

  • Swollen lymph nodes

  • Fever

  • Loss of appetite

How to Treat Strep Throat

A doctor needs to diagnose strep throat using a cotton swab test. A simple round of antibiotics can kill the bacterial infection and cure strep throat. It’s also important to treat the other symptoms of strep throat by staying hydrated and using a cool mist humidifier. Your doctor may also recommend that you avoid close contact with others until the antibiotic has a chance to become active in your system. This precaution will stop you from infecting others with strep throat.

If you suspect you have strep throat, stop into Suncoast UCC anytime to receive your diagnosis and treatment. Call (727) 372-3888 to learn more about the Suncoast UCC locations in Trinity and Spring Hill, Florida.

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Category: Infections

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