Strep Throat Symptoms
Red and enlarged tonsils, a fever above 101ºF, and white patches of pus on the tonsils or in the throat are some of the possible symptoms of strep throat. It typically takes about two to five days for symptoms to improve. If a person has a sore throat for more than a week, it is most likely not the result of strep throat.
What Are Possible Symptoms or Signs of Strep Throat?Everyone has had a sore throat. And when we do, most of us wonder whether it's strep throat. But what is strep throat, and how often is a sore throat caused by a strep infection?
Strep throat is the name for a throat infection caused by group A streptococcus bacteria (also known as GAS or Streptococcus pyogenes). It accounts for up to 30 percent of throat infections in children and adolescents, and up to 10 percent of adult throat infections.
Strep throat symptoms will improve without treatment, so why is medication recommended? The reason is three-fold:
- Serious complications can occur as a result of an untreated strep infection (see Strep Throat Complications)
- It is a contagious illness (see Is Strep Throat Contagious?)
- Treatment will decrease the length and severity of symptoms.
Specific Strep Throat SymptomsUnfortunately, there is not just one sign or symptom that absolutely signals a strep throat infection. Therefore, healthcare providers look for several clues to make a diagnosis.
The most obvious symptom is a red and painful throat that begins suddenly. Other indicators include:
- A fever above 101ºF (38.3ºC)
- Red and enlarged tonsils
- Tender or swollen lymph glands in the neck.
The symptoms of strep throat usually improve within two to five days. If a person has a sore throat for more than a week, it is typically not the result of strep throat.