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  Marjorie Comer   October 14, 2016   Illness, Sore throat, Sick, Strep throat 0 Comments

How to tell the difference between a sore throat and strep throat

Velocity Care shares ways to ease a sore throat

How to tell the difference between a sore throat and strep throatAs the weather changes, a common complaint often heard is that of a sore throat. Many people may automatically assume they have strep throat. However, there are a number of other reasons for a sore throat including allergies, colds and postnasal drips, which can lead to a sinus infection.

When your throat hurts, it’s usually caused from a viral or bacterial infection. Velocity Care Urgent Treatment Center lists a few criteria on how to tell the difference between a sore throat and strep throat. 

Viral infection

  • Red and swollen throat.
  • Red and swollen tonsils.
  • Treat at home.
  • Gargle with salt water.

If you have cold-like symptoms accompanying a sore throat including coughing, runny and stuffy nose or sneezing, then you probably don’t have strep throat.

Bacterial infection

  • Red and swollen throat.
  • Red and swollen tonsils.
  • Pain when swallowing.
  • Fever more than 101 F.
  • White or yellow spots on the back of the throat.
  • Swollen uvula.
  • Tongue looks gray and furry.
  • Requires medical treatment.

Strep throat (streptococcal pharyngitis) is a bacterial infection found in the throat and tonsils. If you come in contact with someone who has strep, it can take two to five days before you start having symptoms.

Feel better

If gargling with salt water doesn’t ease your sore throat pain, try these options:

  • Take the correct dosage of acetaminophen or ibuprofen.
  • Suck on a throat lozenge.
  • Consume frozen desserts to ease the pain, like ice pops.
  • Drink warm water with lemon and honey.
  • Put a humidifier in your room.
  • Visit the doctor for treatment.

If you do believe you have a bacterial infection, seek the care of a physician. You can also learn more about strep throat, including treatment options, by downloading A Parent’s Guide to Strep Throat, a resource aimed to share vital strep throat information with parents.


Caring for strep throat

Photo credit: 123RF Stock Photo

Medical disclaimer

This site offers medical, health, fitness and nutritional information and is designed for educational purposes only. General information found on this website is not intended to diagnose any medical condition or to replace your health care professional.

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