When Do I Need to Get a Strep Test?

Strep throat is a very common infection. Many of us probably remember getting it when we were younger, but strep still affects approximately 11,000 to 24,000 Americans every year, according to the CDC.

Read on as our team at AFC Urgent Care Fountain City shares some more helpful info on this common bacterial infection.

How Do I Know If I Have Strep Throat?

First, before you know its first symptoms, it’s important to know exactly what this common infection is. Strep throat is a bacterial infection that is caused by group A Streptococcus bacteria, which causes throat pain and inflammation.

While the overall symptoms of strep throat vary a little bit, the first symptoms typically remain consistent. In many cases, the first symptoms of this infection are a sore throat, difficulty swallowing and a fever. We’ve listed some more common symptoms of strep throat below.

Common Strep Throat Symptoms

  • Sore, red throat with white patches
  • Headache
  • Chills
  • Loss of appetite
  • Swollen lymph nodes in the neck
  • Trouble swallowing

If I Have a Sore Throat, Should I Get a Strep Test?

It depends on whether or not you have a cough. While a sore throat is one of the first signs of strep throat, one of the tell-tale differences between a sore throat and strep throat is the absence or presence of a cough. According to experts, a cough typically means that you don’t have strep.

If you have a painfully sore throat in addition to any of the symptoms we mentioned earlier, it’s time to visit your doctor. Your doctor will likely perform a rapid strep test, which is a reliable and accurate test. If you experience the symptoms that we’ve listed below in addition to your sore throat, it’s likely that you are experiencing a cold instead of strep throat.

How to Tell If It’s Only a Sore Throat

  • Runny nose
  • Cough
  • Red or watery eyes
  • Sneezing

Are you feeling under the weather? If so, don’t hesitate to visit us at AFC Urgent Care Athens, TN! We can provide the care you need.