Strep throat is an infection that affects your throat and tonsils, making it one of the more painful winter illnesses. A bacteria known as group A Streptococcus causes the infection. The bacteria is adept at spreading itself between people, yet not all infected people show symptoms or seem sick. If you think you may have strep throat, it is important to know the signs and seek treatment at an urgent medical care facility before you spread the illness to others.
Common Signs And Symptoms Of Strep Throat
Strep throat is a relatively mild infection, but it can be extremely painful. The most common sign that you have contracted the illness is that your throat hurts, but you don't have a cough. While a cough can be an indicator of the common cold or of other illnesses, strep throat primarily affects the feeling in your throat.
Often, you will be able to tell that you have strep throat when you push on the front part of your neck and feel your glands or lymph nodes. If this area feels swollen and hurts when you put pressure on it, you likely have strep throat and should visit an urgent care clinic for urgent medical care.
Another telltale sign of strep throat is a fever. As your body attempts to fight off the infection in your throat and tonsils, your internal temperature will rise, resulting in a fever.
The last obvious sign of strep throat is the appearance of a white residue on your tonsils. If you have a friend or family member willing to check for you, they can look in your mouth with a flashlight to check for the white specks that appear on your tonsils and the back of your throat. You can also attempt to look yourself by using a mirror and pushing your tongue down.
Treating Strep Throat
Seeking prompt treatment at an urgent medical care facility is important not only for your own health, but for those around you as well. Health providers at an urgent care clinic will likely perform a test known as rapid strep. This test comes back within about an hour after a doctor takes a sample from a throat swab.
A doctor may also be able to see that you are presenting all of the symptoms for strep throat and start your treatment without doing a test. The typical treatment for strep throat is antibiotics and plenty of rest for about a week.
Approximately 3 million patients visit urgent medical care centers every week, according to the Urgent Care Association of America. If you think that you or a loved one may have strep throat, be sure to join this number of patients by visiting a facility right away.