Experiencing a sore throat this winter? Before jumping to conclusions, it's crucial to recognize that not every sore throat is related to COVID-19. This season, various winter illnesses are circulating, leading to an influx of patients with sore throats. One common culprit is strep throat, a bacterial infection known for its prevalence in colder months and high contagiousness through sneezing, coughing, or sharing items, especially among children in school environments where germs spread easily.
At AFC Urgent Care Vernon, we acknowledge the concerns surrounding the new COVID variants JN.1 and HV.1 while aiming to help you discern whether your sore throat is due to COVID-19 or strep throat.
Is Strep Throat a Symptom Of COVID-19?
Contrary to popular belief, strep throat is not a symptom of COVID-19. It is an independent bacterial infection caused by "Streptococcal pharyngitis." While it shares some symptoms with COVID-19, there are distinctive differences.
Strep Throat Symptoms include:
- Red, sore throat with white patches on throat and tongue
- Sudden fever
- Difficulty swallowing
- Swollen glands in the neck
Symptoms typically NOT associated with Strep throat:
- Runny nose
Similar to COVID-19, strep throat requires a specific test to determine the presence of the bacteria causing the infection.
What to Look for When Suspecting COVID-19
Strep primarily affects the throat and tonsils, while COVID-19 is a viral infection often accompanied by respiratory symptoms. If you experience a sore throat along with respiratory symptoms such as coughing, difficulty breathing, shortness of breath, congestion, or new loss of smell and/or taste, there's a possibility it could be COVID-19.
It's essential to note that symptoms may vary with different variants. The current variants are JN.1 and HV.1 Even if COVID-19 symptoms are absent, individuals may still be carriers, emphasizing the importance of updated booster shots and vaccines, which are readily available at local pharmacies.
Get Tested For Strep and COVID-19 at AFC Urgent Care Vernon
AFC Urgent Care Vernon recommends getting tested to rule out each illness and advocates for flu and COVID-19 vaccinations. Operating 7 days a week, we offer PCR, back-to-work Antigen tests, and Rapid molecular tests for COVID-19, along with rapid strep tests for your convenience.Since strep throat requires antibiotics to combat the bacterial infection, it's crucial to complete the prescribed course.
AFC Urgent CareVernon extends its availability throughout the entire week, providing convenience for both scheduled appointments and walk-ins. We proudly accept a wide range of insurances, ensuring that our healthcare services are easily accessible to all. Experience the simplicity of our user-friendly online payment system – with just a few clicks, you can conveniently settle your bill. Our commitment is to make healthcare prompt, accessible, and hassle-free for our valued patients.