A Sore Throat Caused by COVID-19 Versus Strep Throat: What’s the difference?

February 1, 2024

A Sore Throat Caused by COVID-19 v.s strep throat? A Young Man Visits AFC Urgent Care Norwalk For An Answer!

Connecticut has welcomed winter, bringing not only cold and freezing weather but also a season of illnesses such as the flu, strep throat, colds, and the lingering presence of COVID-19. While it's tempting to forget about COVID-19, it remains a concern. The silver lining is that not every symptom is indicative of COVID-19.

At AFC Urgent Care Norwalk, we understand the confusion surrounding similar symptoms of Strep Throat and COVID-19. Allow us to help you differentiate between a sore throat caused by COVID-19 and Strep Throat.

Strep Throat is Distinct from COVID-19 Symptoms:

Let's be clear – Strep throat primarily targets the tonsils and throat, resulting in a severe sore throat. Importantly, it's an entirely different illness from COVID-19. Strep throat stems from a bacterial infection and necessitates antibiotics for recovery. In contrast, COVID-19 is a viral infection often accompanied by respiratory symptoms.

Viral infections like the flu, COVID-19, or a cold typically manifest with respiratory symptoms such as cough, shortness of breath, new loss of taste or smell, sore throat, and fatigue. It's noteworthy that some individuals may remain asymptomatic, yet still pose a risk of infection. Symptoms may also vary with the virus variant, with the current variants being JN.1 and HV.1.

While most fully vaccinated individuals may experience mild symptoms, those who are unvaccinated, elderly, or have pre-existing conditions may face severe illness.

Symptoms of Strep Throat Focus on the Throat and Tonsils:

Despite being commonly perceived as a mild infection, strep throat can be intensely painful. Key symptoms include a rapid onset of sore throat, pain when swallowing, fever, and red and swollen tonsils, possibly with white patches or pus streaks. Swollen lymph nodes in the front of the neck may also occur.

Additional symptoms may encompass headache, stomach pain, nausea, or vomiting, especially in children. Notably absent in strep throat are symptoms like cough, runny nose, and pink eye.

Testing for Strep Throat:

Yes, there is a test for strep throat! AFC Urgent Care Norwalk can swiftly perform a throat swab in our office. If the test is positive, we can prescribe antibiotics to combat the bacterial infection. Additionally, we offer rapid antigen and PCR COVID-19 tests. As preventive measures, we recommend COVID-19 vaccines, boosters, and the annual flu shot to reduce the risk of winter illnesses.

AFC Urgent Care Norwalk is here for you every day of the week, offering the convenience of both scheduled appointments and walk-in visits. We gladly accept most insurance plans, making sure our healthcare services are accessible to all. Experience ease in settling your bills with our straightforward online payment system – a few clicks, and you're done. Our commitment is to deliver prompt, accessible, and hassle-free healthcare services to our valued patients.

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