What’s Causing My Sore Throat?

Sore throat is a condition marked by pain in the throat and has a broad number of causes. Most cases of sore throat are cured naturally but others require urgent care and may lead to long-term issues if left untreated.

How can you determine when that dry, sore feeling in your throat requires medical attention?

Use this guide for the most common causes of sore throat from mild to serious.


Cold or Flu

A majority of sore throats are caused by viral infections such as the cold or flu, which are accompanied by symptoms like sneezing, runny nose, and cough. Though the cold and flu share many symptoms, the flu is more severe with high fever and body aches. Sore Throat symptoms can be soothed with over-the-counter pain medications and warm liquids.


When should I call a doctor?

Sore throats caused by cold and flu don’t require medical attention but if symptoms persist or get worse after the virus is gone or if swelling occurs visit a doctor for a proper diagnosis.


Strep Throat

Streptococcal pharyngitis also known as Strep Throat is a highly contagious bacterial infection of the throat that causes a dry, scratchy feeling very similar to that caused by cold and flu. Strep throat, like the cold and flu, peaks during the colder months so it’s very important to be able to distinguish the difference and get medical care as soon as possible.

Symptoms of Step Throat include:

• Sudden onset of symptoms

• Peak in fever

• Red, sore throat with white patches

• Headache.

• Swollen lymph nodes in the neck.

• Difficulty swallowing

• Fatigue


When should I call a doctor?

If you believe you have Strep Throat it’s important to seek medical care for diagnosis and proper treatment with antibiotics. Antibiotics reduce the duration and severity of symptoms, the contagious period, and the risk of more serious complications of Strep Throat.


AFC Urgent Care North Andover offers complete Strep Throat care including Rapid Strep Tests with results in as little as 15 minutes. Visit us during our regular business hours Monday – Friday from 8 am until 8 pm and Saturday – Sunday from 8 am until 5 pm.



3700 Cahaba Beach Road Birmingham, AL 35242

Our Mission and Values:

Our mission is to provide the best healthcare possible in a kind and caring environment, in an economical manner, while respecting the rights of all of our patients, at times and locations convenient to the patient.

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