Is the Pain In My Throat Due to COVID-19 or Strep Throat?

February 1, 2024

My Throat Hurts: Is It COVID-19 Or Strep Throat? AFC Urgent Care Saugus Explains The Differences

As winter arrives, it's essential to recognize that COVID-19 isn't the sole winter illness demanding attention. Cold, flu, and strep throat are prevalent concerns, contributing to the influx of patients seeking medical care for sore throats. The situation becomes perplexing as COVID-19 can indeed cause a sore throat, but it cannot lead to strep throat.

AFC Urgent Care Saugus is dedicated to shedding light on various winter illnesses, focusing on strep throat through this informative guide.

Strep Throat: A Bacterial Challenge

Unlike colds, flu, and COVID-19, strep throat, triggered by group A streptococcus bacteria, requires a distinct approach. It doesn't commonly resolve on its own with rest and over-the-counter medication; instead, antibiotics become necessary to combat the bacterial infection.

Characterized by a more severe sore throat, often sensitive to touch (lymph nodes) and painful during swallowing, strep throat exhibits specific symptoms:

  • Red, sore throat with white patches on throat and tongue
  • Sudden fever
  • Chills
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Swollen glands in the neck
  • Fatigue

Distinguishing COVID-19 from Strep Throat

A crucial disparity lies in respiratory symptoms – a hallmark of colds, flu, and COVID-19 but notably absent in strep throat. If unsure about the origin of a sore throat, understanding the distinctions between these illnesses is pivotal.

However, if respiratory symptoms accompany a sore throat, COVID-19 might be the culprit, with specific indicators:

  • Coughing
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Shortness of breath
  • Congestion
  • New loss of smell and/or taste

It's worth noting that some cases may present without any symptoms, yet individuals can still transmit the virus to others.

Adapting to Variant Dynamics

Symptoms can evolve with the virus's variant, and the current HV.1 and JN.1 variants underscores the need for vigilance. While those fully vaccinated may experience milder symptoms, certain demographics, including the unvaccinated, elderly, or those with pre-existing conditions, face a higher risk of severe illness.

Testing Solutions at AFC Urgent Care Saugus

For those grappling with uncertainty, AFC Urgent Care Saugus offers comprehensive testing solutions. With rapid molecular testing for COVID-19 and strep tests available seven days a week, no appointments are needed. In case of a positive strep test, the facility provides antibiotic prescriptions, emphasizing the importance of completing the entire course for optimal recovery.

This winter, AFC Urgent Care Saugus stands committed to providing accessible and reliable healthcare services, ensuring the well-being of the Saugus community. AFC Urgent Care Saugus is at your service seven days a week, welcoming both scheduled appointments and walk-ins for your convenience. Accepting a wide range of insurance plans, our goal is to provide accessible and timely healthcare services. Take advantage of our hassle-free online payment system, allowing you to settle your bill with just a few clicks. Rely on us for reliable, prompt, and personalized healthcare services designed to meet your specific needs.

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