What’s The Difference Between Strep Throat And COVID-19?

February 1, 2024

Woman Understanding The Differences Between Strep Throat And COVID-19 With AFC Urgent Care Malden

Is it COVID-19 or Strep Throat causing your sore throat? This question can be quite confusing. While having COVID-19 is no walk in the park, Strep Throat can also be painful. It's essential to remember that besides COVID-19, we have colds, flu, and strep throat to contend with this season, and they all come with sore throats. Identifying the source of your sore throat can be perplexing, but AFC Urgent Care Malden is here to clarify the differences in our guide on sore throats and help you determine if it's strep throat or COVID-19.

COVID-19 Causes A Sore Throat But It Isn't Strep Throat

COVID-19, caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus discovered in December 2019, is highly contagious and primarily induces respiratory symptoms resembling a cold, flu, or pneumonia. Symptoms can range from mild to severe and may include fever, chills, cough, shortness of breath, fatigue, muscle aches, new loss of taste or smell, and sore throat.

It's crucial to note that symptoms may vary with the variant, and the current ones are HV.1 and JN.1. Staying up to date with the latest COVID-19 vaccine is essential. While those who have received all available vaccines usually experience mild symptoms, others, especially the unvaccinated, elderly, or those with pre-existing conditions, may face severe illness.

Strep Throat Isn't A Viral Infection; It's A Bacterial Infection!

Strep throat, on the other hand, is caused by a bacterial infection and rarely presents respiratory symptoms. If you have strep throat, you may experience a rapid onset of sore throat, pain when swallowing, fever, red and swollen tonsils, and swollen lymph nodes in the front of the neck.

Symptoms typically NOT related to Strep throat include cough and runny nose. Similar to COVID-19, strep throat has a specific test that can determine the presence of bacteria causing the infection.

Testing For Strep Throat

Just like COVID-19 testing, there are specific tests for strep throat. The initial step usually involves a rapid throat swab test. Getting tested for everything, including a rapid strep test via a throat swab, is essential for ruling out the cause of your sore throat. Considering flu shots, COVID-19 vaccines, boosters, and COVID-19 testing is the next step.

AFC Urgent Care Can Test You For COVID-19 And Strep Throat

Entering the second half of winter, people are facing various illnesses like COVID, flu, colds, and strep throat. As your local urgent care, AFC Urgent Care Malden provides flu shots, COVID-19 rapid molecular testing, rapid 'Back to Work' COVID Antigen tests, rapid strep tests, and more urgent care services, seven days a week.

You can walk in anytime or make an appointment online. We encourage you to get tested for strep throat, allowing us to guide you through the next steps for treatment and recovery. If you test positive, we can initiate antibiotic treatment, and it's crucial to complete the entire prescription to prevent strep from returning. AFC Urgent Care in Malden is committed to serving your urgent care needs.

AFC Urgent Care Malden is available seven days a week, welcoming both scheduled appointments and walk-ins. We accept most insurance plans, guaranteeing accessible and timely healthcare services. Take advantage of our user-friendly online payment system – with just a few clicks, you can effortlessly settle your bill. Trust us to provide dependable and prompt healthcare services designed to cater to your specific requirements.


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