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Is it Strep Throat?

“Strep Throat: All You Need to Know”

“Bacteria Cause Strep Throat”

“Viruses are the most common cause of a sore throat. However, strep throat is an infection in the throat and tonsils caused by bacteria called group A Streptococcus (group A strep).”

“How You Get Strep Throat”

“Group A strep live in the nose and throat and can easily spread to other people. It is important to know that all infected people do not have symptoms or seem sick. People who are infected spread the bacteria by coughing or sneezing, which creates small respiratory droplets that contain the bacteria.”

“People can get sick if they:

  • Breathe in those droplets
  • Touch something with droplets on it and then touch their mouth or nose
  • Drink from the same glass or eat from the same plate as a sick person
  • Touch sores on the skin caused by group A strep (impetigo)”

“Rarely, people can spread group A strep through food that is not handled properly (visit CDC’s food safety page). Experts do not believe pets or household items, like toys, spread these bacteria.”

“Pain and Fever without a Cough Are Common Signs and Symptoms”

“In general, strep throat is a mild infection, but it can be very painful. The most common symptoms of strep throat include:

  • Sore throat that can start very quickly
  • Pain when swallowing
  • Fever
  • Red and swollen tonsils, sometimes with white patches or streaks of pus
  • Tiny, red spots (petechiae — pronounced pi-TEE-kee-eye) on the roof of the mouth (the soft or hard palate)
  • Swollen lymph nodes in the front of the neck”

“Other symptoms may include a headache, stomach pain, nausea, or vomiting — especially in children. Someone with strep throat may also have a rash known as scarlet fever (also called scarlatina).”

“The following symptoms suggest a virus is the cause of the illness instead of strep throat:

  • Cough
  • Runny nose
  • Hoarseness (changes in your voice that makes it sound breathy, raspy, or strained)
  • Conjunctivitis (also called pink eye)”

“It usually takes two to five days for someone exposed to group A strep to become ill.”

“Signs and symptoms of strep throat usually include a sore throat that starts quickly; pain with swallowing; fever; red and swollen tonsils, sometimes with white patches or streaks of pus; tiny red spots on the roof of the mouth; and swollen lymph nodes in the front of the neck. Signs and symptoms of strep throat typically do not include cough, runny nose, hoarseness, or conjunctivitis (pink eye).”

“A sore throat that starts quickly, pain with swallowing, and fever are some of the common signs and symptoms of strep throat.”


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