How to Spot the Signs of Strep Throat

How to Spot the Signs of Strep Throat

Strep throat is a bacterial infection caused by group A Streptococcus bacterium. It’s one of the most common causes of sore throats, and strep alone accounts for nearly one third of sore throats in children.

Strep throat is characterized by a sore, scratchy, or swollen throat — but a sore throat is a symptom of many illnesses, including the common cold and the flu. Learning to spot the signs of strep throat is important, because strep requires specialized treatment to help you (or your child) feel better.

Our team at Medical Associates Of North Texas specializes in acute care for children and adults. Read on to learn more about strep throat and when to consider making an acute care appointment to get the care you need.

Common symptoms of strep throat

Strep throat is a bacterial infection that spreads through contact. Bacteria found in the nose and mouth can spread when someone wipes their nose, coughs, or sneezes. You or your child could catch strep throat if you come in contact with someone else who is sick.

Strep can make your throat swollen and painful, but it’s not always easy to know what’s causing your symptoms. Some of the most common signs of strep throat are:

There are a few symptoms that may indicate it’s not strep throat. If your sore throat comes with symptoms like cough, congestion, or hoarseness, it may be caused by a viral infection like a cold or the flu.

Although strep throat can affect anyone, it’s most common in school-aged children. It rarely affects adults.

What to do if you think it’s strep throat

Strep throat infections differ from other common respiratory illnesses like colds and flus. That’s because strep is a bacterial infection, while the common cold and the flu are viruses.

Your immune system is equipped to fight off many viral infections. If you have a cold or the flu, you can expect to start feeling better with a few days of rest. However, bacterial infections can be more difficult to fight.

Leaving strep throat untreated can cause infection to spread to other parts of your body. This could increase your risk of conditions like ear infection, sinus infection, and lymph node infection.

Instead, make a doctor’s appointment as soon as possible if you think you or your child could have strep throat. Our team provides prompt care for acute illnesses, including strep throat.

We do a strep throat test to determine if you have a strep infection. If the test comes back positive, we typically prescribe antibiotic medication. Follow the doctor’s instructions for taking the antibiotic, and you should start feeling better within a few days.

Are you or your child bothered by a sore throat? If you think it could be strep throat, don’t wait to make a doctor’s appointment. Call our Fort Worth, Texas, office at 972-695-8053 to schedule an acute care appointment.

You Might Also Enjoy...

Resolve to Schedule Your Annual Physical This Year

When was your last physical exam? Annual physicals are an important element of a healthy life, and these days, protecting your health is more important than ever. Here’s why you shouldn’t skip your annual exam in 2022.

Tips for Lowering Your Blood Pressure

Do you have high blood pressure? It’s very common, and it could increase your risk of serious health complications. The good news is that you have options to lower your blood pressure, including a variety of lifestyle changes. Get our best tips here.

Benefits of an Annual Physical

Annual physical exams are an important part of your health care plan. But when you’re feeling well, it’s easy for those routine appointments to slip from your mind. It’s time to learn about the benefits of prioritizing those annual physical exams.

It’s Hard to Breathe — Could I Have COPD?

Do you have a hard time breathing? While shortness of breath is often attributed to simply getting older, it could be a warning sign of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Learn the symptoms and what to do if you think you might have COPD.

Signs Your Wound Isn't Healing

Chronic wounds are common, and they could pose a serious risk to your health. If you have a wound that isn’t getting better on its own, it could require professional wound care. Learn the signs that your wound isn’t healing like it should be.

Why You Shouldn’t Ignore Strep Throat Symptoms

Throat pain. Difficulty swallowing. Fever. These symptoms and more could indicate strep throat. It’s a common infection, and those symptoms shouldn’t be ignored. Learn about the risks of untreated strep throat and what to do to start feeling better.