If you have a sore throat you might be wondering if it is just a common cold or strep throat. The cause for each of these conditions are different so, the treatment should also be different. Here are some things that you should know about strep throat.
1. There Are Key Differences Between A Common Cold and Strep
First, it is important to know the key differences between strep throat and the common cold. Strep is generally localized right in the throat. You won't have much of a runny nose, or head congestion. Instead, the majority of the pain will be in your throat and it will be very hard to swallow. Many people feel as though they have pins and needles in their throat.
When you look at the throat of a person with strep there are usually little white dots around the throat and mouth. The common cold doesn't generally present itself with white dots.
And lastly, a fever is a common side effect of a person with strep. Since the body is fighting a serious infection, it is normal to run a fever.
2. Strep Throat Can Only Be Diagnosed Through A Cultured Test
It is important to know that strep throat can only be diagnosed through a specific test. You cannot diagnose it on your own, or even by looking at it. The only conclusive way to know if you have strep throat is to have a doctor run a test.
This test happens by swabbing the persons throat and taking a small amount of the bacteria on the sample swab. Then the swab is placed in a special kind of solution that will change colors if the staff infection is present on it. The test usually only takes a couple minutes to complete and can be done at any urgent care, emergency room, or doctors office.
3. Strep Should Be Treated With Medication
You shouldn't ignore strep. In order to fully combat the infection and not let the staff bacteria run rapid, you need to get an antibiotic to treat it. This antibiotic will need to be taken for the full 7-10 days, depending on what your doctor prescribes. This is because you could start feeling better at day 4, but the bacteria is not fully killed. It will come back unless you finish off the antibiotic in it's entirety.
By knowing these things you can combat strep throat and know when to go to the urgent care clinic.