How To Tell The Difference Between COVID-19 And Strep

February 1, 2024

AFC Urgent Care Torrington Explains To A Little Boy The Differences Between whether he has COVID-19 or Strep Throat

We’re all aware that COVID-19 has not only impacted us, but the whole world. It’s fair to say that 3 years into this deadly virus, we know more about COVID-19 than we did before. That being said, not every symptom we feel will lead COVID-19. COVID-19 is part of our lives, but so is Strep throat and many other illnesses. Strep throat can be minor, but it can be very painful as well. 

AFC Urgent Care Torrington has prepared a guideline to educate you in the difference between COVID-19 and Strep throat. 

Understanding the Origins of COVID-19

COVID-19, short for coronavirus disease 2019, is a viral illness caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Discovered in Wuhan, China, in December 2019, this highly contagious disease rapidly spread globally, impacting various parts of the world. While it commonly presents respiratory symptoms resembling a cold, flu, or pneumonia, COVID-19 doesn't solely target the lungs; other body parts may also be affected. Despite the majority experiencing mild symptoms, severe illness can occur, particularly among those unvaccinated.

Strep Throat: Not a Viral Affliction

In contrast to COVID-19, strep throat is a bacterial infection affecting the throat and tonsils. Caused by group A Streptococcus bacteria, this highly contagious condition is primarily transmitted through respiratory droplets and direct contact. While proper food handling can mitigate the risk, it generally takes two to five days for symptoms of strep throat to manifest after exposure.

Distinguishing Symptoms: Strep Throat vs. COVID-19

Strep throat, often perceived as a mild yet painful infection, manifests with symptoms such as a rapid onset sore throat, pain while swallowing, fever, red and swollen tonsils (potentially with white patches or streaks of pus), and swollen lymph nodes. Additional symptoms may include headaches, stomach pain, nausea, or vomiting, particularly in children. Notably, strep throat does not exhibit symptoms like cough, runny nose, or pink eye.

On the other hand, COVID-19 presents a broader spectrum of symptoms, ranging from mild to severe. These symptoms may include fever or chills, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, nausea, new loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting, and diarrhea. It's important to note that symptoms can vary depending on the latest virus variant and vaccination history, with JN.1 and HV.1 being the current variants.

AFC Urgent Care Torrington: Your Testing Solution

AFC Urgent Care Torrington is equipped to test for both strep throat and COVID-19 using PCR/Antigen tests and a Strep test involving a throat swab to detect bacterial growth. Antibiotic treatment is available for strep, emphasizing the importance of completing the full dosage to prevent bacterial resurgence and increased resistance.

Our center is open seven days a week, welcoming both scheduled appointments and walk-ins. AFC Urgent Care Southington accepts most insurances, ensuring accessible and timely healthcare services. Utilize our straightforward online payment system—just a few clicks, and you can conveniently settle your bill.

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