What You Should Do If You Think Your Sore Throat Could Mean Strep Throat
March 16, 2010
We've all had a painful sore throat, which can be caused by any number of viruses. But a sore throat can also mean a strep throat infection.
Everyone who has strep throat has a sore throat, but not everyone with a sore throat has a strep infection. So how can you tell the difference?
Dr. Richard Besser, ABC News' senior health and medical editor, visited"Good Morning America" today to answer your questions.
Your Questions Answered
Q: What is strep throat?
A: Strep throat is a bacterial infection.
While adults can get it too, it is most common in children aged 5 to 15. It's important to treat strep throat. If it's left untreated, it can sometimes lead to rheumatic fever, which can in turn lead to heart disease. There has been some discussion as to whether strep throat could lead to obsessive compulsive disorder and even to Tourette's syndrome, but that was never proven in studies.
Q: What are the symptoms of strep throat and a viral sore
A: Strep throat and a viral sore throat share many common symptoms.
With both, you may have difficulty swallowing, your throat may be red and irritated, and you might have a fever. But with strep, you could also have sore glands in your neck, white pus on your tonsils, a headache and even an upset stomach.
With a viral sore throat, you may have a runny nose, a cough and red eyes.