Strep throat accounts for approximately 15-percent of all sore throats that present to doctors’ offices and urgent care clinics in North America. This widespread bacterial infection mostly afflicts school-aged children, but adults aren’t exempt from the red, swollen, painful throat condition. Strep throat is caused by an overgrowth of group A streptococcus bacteria, which is where it gets its namesake.
If you’re feeling under the weather, you may have strep throat if you’re experiencing these 11 warning signs…
1. Sore Throat
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), strep throat is a prevalent type of sore throat that strikes mostly children. It’s less common in adults. The painful, sore, red, and inflamed throat tissues that come with strep throat are due to a severe bacterial infection. The causes of a sore throat vary (i.e., allergies or viral, fungal, or bacterial factors as well as) environmental irritants (such as pollution or cigarette smoke), and non-bacterial causes of sore throat can mimic the uncomfortable, scratchy, and raw feeling associated with strep throat.
Luckily, if your doctor suspects strep throat, a quick throat swab can determine if group A streptococcus bacteria (or “group A strep”) is present. If it is, your physician may prescribe antibiotics to ease the pain of red, inflamed throat tissues and help encourage healing of the intense bacterial infection before it transforms into a more severe condition, such as tonsillitis or sinusitis.