FAQS About Strep Throat And Urgent Care Services

What do you need to know about strep throat and medical care? Whether your throat is more than just scratchy or your child feels sick, take a look at the top questions about strep in the summer, testing, and how an urgent care services clinic can help.

What Is Strep Throat?

Unlike a cold, Covid, or the flu, strep is not a viral infection. The bacteria group A Streptococcus causes this common illness. Even though strep throat isn't a virus, it is spread from person to person through respiratory droplets. This means you could get strep from a cough, sneeze, or even talking closely with someone who is contagious. You can also get strep by touching a contaminated surface.

What Are the Symptoms of Strep Throat?

As the name implies, this illness often affects the throat. One of the first symptoms you may notice is significant throat soreness. This may make it painful to swallow, talk, or eat. Other strep symptoms include fever, swollen lymph nodes, a headache, vomiting, stomach pain, nausea, or small red spots on the roof of your mouth, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Do Strep, Covid, a Cold, and the Flu Have Similar Symptoms?

The answer to this question is yes—and no. You could have a sore throat, fever, headache, or swollen lymph nodes with strep or viral infections. It's also possible to have GI issues with strep and some viruses, such as Covid. But strep isn't likely to cause a runny/stuffy nose or a cough. If you have these symptoms, either you don't have strep or you have strep throat and a virus at the same time.

Can You Diagnose Strep Throat Yourself?

No, you should never diagnose strep throat or any other illness yourself. Contact your doctor or visit a walk-in medical clinic if you have a sore throat or other possible symptoms. You will need a strep test to confirm or rule out the illness. Some people with strep may test positive immediately. But if the rapid test is negative, the doctor may recommend a throat culture. This test takes longer and may find bacteria that a rapid test could not.

According to the CDC, a throat culture is more important for children and teens than for most adults. Children and teens are at a greater risk for rheumatic fever than adults. Failure to treat strep throat could result in this potentially serious infection. 

How Will the Medical Provider Treat Strep Throat?

Antibiotics can clear a strep infection. The CDC notes that penicillin and amoxicillin are commonly used medications for this type of illness. You (or your child) will need a doctor's prescription for either of these antibiotics. An urgent care provider can prescribe the medication you need to clear this infection.

For more information, contact a company like 75th St Injury & Illness Center.