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What Are the Signs and Symptoms of Strep Throat?

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strep throat symptoms

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  • The first indicators of strep throat can manifest two to five days after you have been exposed to the Group A strep bacteria
  • Common strep throat symptoms include a sore throat, swollen tonsils and lymph nodes, and swallowing difficulties
  • Two types of tests are recommended by your doctor if you or someone you know is showing signs of strep throat

There are many symptoms of strep throat, which typically develop within two to five days of exposure to the bacterial infection.1 These include:2,3

  • A sore throat4
  • Swollen and red tonsils with white patches or pus
  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Tiny and red spots found behind the roof of your mouth (soft or hard palate)
  • Pain while swallowing
  • Headache
  • Fever
  • Rashes
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Chills
  • Body aches
  • Loss of appetite

It’s important to know that some of the mentioned symptoms aren’t limited only to strep throat, but may be signs of other infections or illnesses too.5

Some Symptoms May Appear Differently in People

Some strep throat symptoms manifest differently depending on the age group of the infected person:

  • Infants with strep throat usually feed less, appear irritable and have swollen neck glands and a fever.6
  • Children may complain of sore throat, painful swallowing, headaches, a high-grade fever (101 degrees F or 38.3 degrees C) and abdominal pain.7

If you or someone you know shows these symptoms, no matter what age, consult a doctor or health care professional immediately:8

  • A sore throat accompaniedby tender and swollen lymph glands, or a rash
  • A sore throat lasting for more than 48 hours
  • A fever
  • Breathing or swallowing difficulties

What Tests Are Conducted for Strep Throat?

Either of these two tests may be recommended by your doctor after they perform an initial physical exam and checks for signs of strep throat:9

  • Rapid antigen test — This test looks for substances linked to the strep-causing bacteria,10 and involves taking a swab sample from your throat. Take note that it’s possible for your doctor to recommend you undergo a throat culture if this test yields a negative result, especially if they think that strep-causing bacteria is present in the throat.
  • Throat culture — This entails taking a sample from the back of your throat and tonsils using a sterile swab and checking for strep bacteria. Results can be available within two days, after the sample is further analyzed in a laboratory.

MORE ABOUT STREP THROAT

Strep Throat: Introduction

What Is Strep Throat?

Is Strep Throat Contagious?

Strep Throat Symptoms

Strep Throat Causes

How Do You Get Strep Throat

Strep Throat Without Tonsils

Strep Throat Duration

Strep Throat vs Sore Throat

Strep Throat Treatment

Strep Throat Prevention

Strep Throat Diet

Strep Throat FAQ

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