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.
If you have a common sore throat, you might experience:
If you have strep throat, you might experience:
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.
Strep throat requires treatment with antibiotics. But a sore throat caused by a virus can be treated in several ways, including:
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.