What Is Strep Throat?

No one likes having a sore throat. It makes talking, eating, and other daily activities painful and more difficult. Fortunately, if detected early, treatments are available to combat the condition and get you back to 100 percent.

What Are The Symptoms Of Strep Throat?

Strep throat is a somewhat common condition that results in a very painful sore throat. This pain is often the primary symptom and generally comes on quickly. It becomes worse when swallowing or talking. Sometimes, throat pain from strep is accompanied by red and swollen tonsils, usually with white patches or streaks visible.

Though the primary problem is throat pain, strep throat can also cause symptoms elsewhere in the body. For example, you may notice a fever, headache, or body aches. Many people mistake these symptoms as the flu, but strep throat is a different condition that requires different treatment.

What Causes Strep Throat?

Strep throat is the result of a bacterial infection. Since it is bacterial in nature, not a virus like a cold or the flu, strep throat must be treated with antibiotics. The condition is caused by streptococcal bacteria, which makes it very contagious. Strep can spread through airborne droplets from an infected person’s cough or sneeze. It can also be spread through shared food and drinks or from other surfaces that the bacteria lives on.

How Is Strep Throat Different From The Flu?

As mentioned, the two conditions come from different pathogens: strep from bacteria and the flu from a virus. A major difference between strep and the flu is the presence of white patches in the throat. Although the flu can also cause a sore throat, an extremely painful one with white patches is a sign of a strep infection.

Similarly, nasal congestion and a cough are not commonly associated with strep throat. However, these symptoms are very common in the flu.

Finally, the flu is far more common than strep throat. It is estimated that five to ten percent of adults will have the flue annually while only 9,000-11,500 cases of strep arise each year.

What Happens If Strep Throat Goes Untreated?

Since strep throat is a bacterial infection, it will rarely go away on its own. If left untreated, the condition can quickly cause complications. For example, the patient may experience kidney inflammation or rheumatic fever. The latter can lead to painful, inflamed joints, a rash, or heart damage.

If you suspect that you have strep throat, it is important to get tested and treated with antibiotics right away. This will lower the chance of the infection developing complications.

How To Avoid Getting Strep Throat

The best way to treat a condition is to not get it in the first place. Though it is not always possible to prevent a strep throat infection, here are a few tips to avoid getting one:

* Wash your hands: Using hand-sanitizer or washing with soap and warm water regularly is the best way to prevent any kind of infection, including strep.

* Cover your cough: When coughing or sneezing, be sure to cover your mouth to prevent the spread of germs into the air.

* Don’t share: You should share drinking glasses, eating utensils, or food with others. Even if they don’t have symptoms, strep could be lurking.

How Can Velocity Urgent Care Treat Strep Throat?

If you suspect that you have strep, stop in to any of Velocity Urgent Care’s convenient locations throughout Virginia. Walk-in or reserve your spot and register online and skip the line. Once you’re in, our certified staff will provide you with quick, quality treatment that jump starts your recovery.

We will evaluate your symptoms and perform and instant strep test in the office. After a few minutes, we’ll have the results and be able to confirm if you have strep throat. Then, our physicians will prescribe the appropriate medications to fight your infection and the pain that comes with it.

With friendly service and a knowledgeable healthcare team ready to serve you, there’s no faster or better option for treating your strep throat than Velocity Urgent Care.