A sore throat can be a literal pain. And you might be worrying that your sore throat is strep throat. Although strep throat is most common in children, anyone can get this bacterial infection.

Many viral infections can cause similar pain and soreness in the throat. It’s important to know what symptoms to look for if you think you might have strep throat. And because strep is highly contagious, spending time near someone who has strep will increase your risk of infection.

Symptoms of Strep Throat

A sore throat is the symptom most people think of, but a strep infection can cause many other symptoms. You may have strep if you have the following:

  • Fever.
  • Headache.
  • Nausea or vomiting, especially in children.
  • Swollen glands in your neck.
  • Tiny red spots on your throat or the roof of your mouth.
  • White or red streaks in your throat or tonsils.

You may notice strep symptoms between two and five days after infection. One sign you usually won’t have with a strep infection is a cough. But you likely will notice a great deal of pain when swallowing.

If you notice a red rash on the body that spreads, it could be scarlet fever. This condition can become dangerous, especially for children, so you should seek medical care.

strep throat

What Causes Strep Throat

Strep throat is a bacterial infection caused by group A Streptococcus. Group A strep spreads quickly through respiratory droplets or by direct contact with someone ill. It is crucial for people who are sick to wash their hands often.

You don’t have to breathe the respiratory droplets in. You can become infected if you touch something with droplets on it or drink from the same glass. Although rare, people can sometimes get a strep infection from contaminated food. Finally, some people can spread strep even if they don’t experience any symptoms.

How to Diagnose Strep Throat

Many conditions and infections can cause symptoms similar to strep. However, a medical professional can quickly test you for strep bacteria. Your doctor may do a throat culture or a rapid test. Both of these tests require a throat swab. Sometimes, the rapid test may not give an accurate answer. A throat culture can confirm an infection but can take a few days.

Untreated strep throat can cause serious complications, especially in children. If a person has many symptoms of strep but a negative rapid test, the doctor may order a throat culture. Rheumatic fever is a dangerous illness that develops from an untreated strep infection and can cause permanent damage.

If you test positive for strep throat, your doctor will most likely prescribe antibiotics.

Taking Care of Strep Symptoms at Home

Getting confirmation from the doctor and getting antibiotics is crucial to wellness. However, a strep throat infection can be very painful and uncomfortable. You can ease your discomfort at home with these remedies:

  • Gargle with salt.
  • Stay hydrated and try warm herbal teas.
  • Take your vitamins, especially vitamin C.
  • Try raw honey or add honey to your tea.

PRESNow Urgent & Emergency Care

Get a Diagnosis Quickly at PRESNow 24/7 Urgent and Emergency Care

Most strep throat infections aren’t severe, but they are painful. Untreated strep can be dangerous for some people. Get a diagnosis and feel better faster when you visit PRESNow 24/7 Urgent and Emergency Care in Albuquerque.

Unlike most ERs or urgent care centers in the area, PRESNow 24/7 Urgent and Emergency Care in Albuquerque, patients are only billed for the level of services they need. The ER and urgent care are open 24 hours a day, every day. No appointment is required for in-person visits.

PRESNow 24/7 Urgent and Emergency Care has four convenient locations:

  • PRESNow 24/7 Urgent and Emergency Care Paseo/San Pedro is located at 6400 Paseo Del Norte Blvd. NE, Albuquerque, NM 87113, and may be reached at 505-596-2100.
  • PRESNow 24/7 Urgent and Emergency Care Coors/Western Trail is located at 4515 Coors Blvd. NW Albuquerque, NM 87120, and may be reached at 505-596-2200.
  • PRESNow 24/7 Urgent and Emergency Care Isleta/Rio Bravo is located at 3436 Isleta Blvd SW, Albuquerque, NM 87105, and may be reached at 505-596-2300.
  • PRESNow 24/7 Urgent and Emergency Care Menaul/Pennsylvania is located at 7400 Menaul Blvd NE, Albuquerque, NM 87110, and may be reached at 505-596-2400.