Can You Get Strep and Flu At The Same Time?

January 11, 2023

The winter season inevitably brings about many different illnesses among individuals. From common colds to influenza, to infections like strep and pneumonia, symptoms can be hard to differentiate. You may be wondering if it's possible to get two illnesses at once, such as strep and flu. In fact, it is possible to have both strep throat and the flu at the same time, although it is not a common occurrence. This blog will explore the symptoms and causes of these two illnesses, as well as what to do if you suspect you have both.

For same-day general illness treatment, visit the walk-in clinic at AFC Urgent Care Bedford. Our team of experienced healthcare providers can examine your condition and determine the root cause of your illness.

Symptoms of Strep and Flu

Strep throat is a bacterial infection that affects the throat and tonsils. It is caused by the bacteria group A streptococcus and is highly contagious.

Common symptoms of strep throat include:

  • Sore throat
  • Fever
  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Redness and white patches in the throat

The flu, also known as influenza, is a viral infection that affects the respiratory system. It is caused by the influenza virus and is also highly contagious.

Common symptoms of the flu include:

  • Fever
  • Congestion
  • Chills
  • Body aches
  • Cough

Can You Get Strep and Flu at the Same Time?

Yes, it’s possible to have both strep throat and the flu at the same time, as the symptoms of these two illnesses can overlap. However, it is more common for individuals to have one or the other. It is also possible to have an upper respiratory infection caused by a virus and then develop a secondary bacterial infection.

Getting both illnesses at the same time may be more common in those with weakened immune systems that are susceptible to getting sick more often than others. If you’ve been diagnosed with a cold or sinus infection, your body is in a weakened state which means it’s easier for the influenza virus to affect you. This means it's crucial to allow your body to rest and recover during the course of your illness.

Diagnosis and Treatment

If you suspect that you have strep throat and the flu at the same time, it is important to seek medical attention. At your local urgent care, a healthcare provider can perform a comprehensive exam and diagnose your symptoms. The diagnosis can be confirmed by a throat culture or molecular point of care testing. At AFC Urgent Care Bedford, the clinic is equipped with rapid strep tests and rapid influenza diagnostic tests to detect the illnesses.

Treatment for strep throat typically involves antibiotics to kill the bacteria. It’s important to take the entire dose of antibiotics to fully fight off the infection. Treatment for the flu typically involves relieving symptoms such as fever and body aches with over-the-counter medications. In severe cases, antiviral medications may be prescribed.

Prevention

Both strep throat and the flu can be prevented by practicing good hygiene, such as washing your hands frequently and covering your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze. Getting an annual flu shot is the most effective way to prevent getting the flu each year.

For more tips on how to prevent strep and flu, visit the walk-in clinic at AFC Urgent Care Bedford for preventive urgent care services. If you have any additional questions about general illness treatment, please contact our office directly at (781) 430-8161.

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