What’s the difference between a sore throat and strep throat?
If you have a sore throat, it may get better on its own without treatment, but strep throat is caused by bacteria and may need antibiotics. If your symptoms include a cough, runny nose, hoarseness (raspy voice) and pink eye, you most likely have a viral illness and do not have strep throat.
What are the signs and symptoms of strep throat?
- sore throat that starts quickly
- throat pain with swallowing
- red and swollen tonsils with white patches
- tiny, red spots (petechiae) inside the roof of your mouth – swollen lymph nodes in your neck
- fine, red rash all over the body
How can the doctor tell if I have strep throat?
The doctor will gently swab the back of your throat to obtain a sample. By testing this sample for the presence of bacteria, the doctor can determine if you have strep throat or not. For more information, visit the CDC at www.cdc.gov/features/strepthroat/