Sore & strep throats

The most common cause of a sore throat is a viral infection, such as a cold. Allergies, postnasal drip, and cigarette smoke can also make your throat hurt.

So while most sore throats are caused by viruses, strep throat is caused by bacteria called group A streptococcus or group A strep. Group A strep live in the nose and throat and can be easily spread to others. If an infected person coughs or sneezes, the bacteria travel in tiny droplets of water known as respiratory droplets. You can get sick if you breathe in those droplets or if you touch something that has the droplets on it then, in turn, touch your mouth or nose. You could also become ill if you drink from the same glass or eat from the same plate as a sick person.

Strep is contagious and requires antibiotic treatment. We can perform an RT-PCR group A strep test that won’t require us to send out to a lab and get you feeling better.

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What to know before your visit

Patients with the following may be directed to another health care provider:

  • The presence of drooling and inability to swallow

What to expect at your visit

  1. Greeted by one of our attentive patient coordinators.
  2. Sign in and fill out your intake form on one of our ipads.
  3. Your practitioner will review your medical history, discuss your symptoms, conduct an examination and provide a personalized treatment plan.
  4. Your practitioner may conduct an RT-PCR test for strep if this test will not require us to send it out to additional labs. Please note that additional charges apply for these tests.
  5. Your provider may also test you for other viruses such as, Flu/RSV/COVID-19 additional charges may apply. 
  6. The summary of your visit can be sent to your primary care provider with your permission.

What symptoms can occur with sore and strep throats?

If you have a common sore throat, you might experience:

  • A runny nose
  • A voice that sounds hoarse, raspy, or strained
  • Coughing
  • Pink eye (conjunctivitis)

If you have strep throat, you might experience:

  • Dark red spots on the roof of your mouth, toward the back
  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Nausea or vomiting, especially in children
  • Pain when swallowing
  • Rash (scarlet fever)
  • Swollen and red tonsils, sometimes with white patches containing pus
  • Swollen and tender lymph nodes in your neck
  • Throat pain that escalates quickly, without a cough

It’s possible to have some of these signs and symptoms but not have a strep infection. These symptoms could also be from a viral infection or other illness.

How are sore and strep throats treated?

Strep throat requires treatment with antibiotics. But a sore throat caused by a virus can be treated in several ways, including:

  • Anti-inflammatory agents
  • Over-the-counter pain relievers
  • Over-the-counter numbing sprays or lozenges
  • Decongestants

How can sore and strep throats be prevented?

  • Avoid infected people: Try not to get near them.
  • Avoid touching your face: Avoid these areas, particularly between washings.
  • Contain the spray of respiratory droplets: Cough or sneeze into a tissue or the inner crook of your elbow.
  • Do not share items: These include eating utensils, drinking glasses and towels.
  • Keep your hands clean: This includes frequently washing your hands with soap and water (or using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer).
  • Practice good hand hygiene: Do this especially after using the bathroom and before eating.

How can a Dragonfly Health provider help me with a sore throat?

Your Dragonfly Health provider can help you understand different treatments for sore throats. They can help you choose the best treatment based on your specific symptoms. They can also discuss over-the-counter medications and other options for pain relief and comfort.