Sore and strep throat in Highland
Sore Throats are inevitable. When you or your child have a sore throat, you may wonder if the throat should be checked by a doctor or if you should wait it out. Sore throat, including strep throat, is contagious.
Often, that will depend on the rest of the symptoms. A sore Throat has several possible causes. Many sore throats will go away on their own.
What causes a sore Throat
• Virus- a virus is not treatable with an antibiotic. Viruses can cause sore throats and fevers.
• Coughs-coughing and post-nasal drip from a cold can irritate the throat.
• Allergies-allergies will not usually cause a sudden sore throat, but can cause mild irritation.
Could It be Strep?
Strep will not usually cause cold symptoms, like a runny nose, congestion or a cough. Strep does have the possibility of other symptoms in addition to a sore throat.
• Fever-over 101 degrees for three days or more is more likely to be strep than a virus
• Very Red Throat- you may see bright red spots in the back of the throat and white puss on the tonsils. Not always. (and sometimes you will see this, and it will still be from a virus)
• A headache, stomachache or vomiting –none, one, or all of these symptoms can occur with a strep infection
• A Rash- you may notice a fine red rash on the chest abdomen and back. This rash does not mean the strep is more serious than strep without a rash.
Get Help Immediately
For a Child
•Excessive drooling – could indicate trouble swallowing
See Your Doctor
For an Adult
•A sore throat lasting longer than a week
•A recurring sore throat
If you are concerned that a sore throat is caused by a strep infection, you should be seen by a doctor. Your doctor may want to treat the condition with an antibiotic if the sore throat is determined not caused by a virus.
If a painful throat seems to be caused by a cold or other virus, there are a couple of remedies you can try at home to alleviate the pain.
How to treat a Sore Throat at Home
• A Pain Reliever- ibuprofen or acetaminophen can lessen the discomfort
• Gargle- Mix ¼ to 1 tsp of salt in 8 oz of warm water. This can be repeated as needed
• Honey and lemon – in warm or hot water
If your child shows symptoms of strep, your doctor may choose to perform a rapid strep test or a throat culture. The doctor will determine the appropriate course of treatment.
If you are concerned about a sore throat, your best advice will come from a medical professional. In the New Paltz and Highland NY area, you are welcome to stop in at First Care Walk-In Medical Center. We are open daily, including most Holidays.