Each year, millions suffer from sore throats. However, in some instances, these sufferers may actually have Strep Throat. What is the difference? A sore throat is caused by a viral infection while strep throat is caused by a bacterial infection.
Typically, a sore throat can be just as painful as strep throat, but if accompanied by cold symptoms such as a runny nose, sneezing or coughing, it may not be strep throat. However, stop by Immediate Clinic for treatment and put your mind at ease.
Strep throat can be much more serious. Strep throat can be passed from person to person. When someone who has strep throat breathes, coughs or sneezes, tiny droplets with the strep bacteria go into the air. These droplets can be breathed in by other people. If you come into contact with the strep bacteria, it may take 2 to 5 days before you start to exhibit symptoms.
The symptoms include fever, pain when you swallow, swollen tonsils and white or yellow spots on the back of a very sore throat. You may also have a headache or some pain in your stomach.
We typically perform a rapid strep test to determine a diagnosis. If the test is negative but your symptoms suggest that you do have strep, we may also perform a throat culture. This test is much more accurate.
If you do have strep, we will begin treating the illness with antibiotics. Antibiotics shorten the time you are contagious and lower the risk of spreading the infection to other parts of your body. Antibiotics also may help you feel better sooner. If you don't take antibiotics, you may be contagious for 2 to 3 weeks, even if your symptoms go away. We may also recommend taking aspirin or ibuprofen for the pain.
While you have the illness, it is best to use tissues you can throw away instead of handkerchiefs, wash your hands often and do not sneeze or cough on others. And even though antibiotics can shorten the time during which you can infect others, it is a good idea to stay home from work or school for the first 24 hours after you have started treatment.
Our Neighborhood Walk-In Clinic is:
- Walk-in friendly
- Open 7 days a week 8am-8pm
- In-network for most Washington insurers
- Open extended hours
- Equipped with X-Ray and Lab on-site
- Staffed by Doctors, Physician Assistants, and Nurse Practitioners