Strep Throat Signs to Never Ignore

You’re not getting better


Pay attention to strep throat signs that stick around for a while and don’t ease up. “Viruses typically don’t last longer than a week. When symptoms persist for seven to ten days, we start to think that other things are involved, like a bacterial infection,” says Dr. Abramowitz. Certainly, a sore throat is not usually something to worry about, but it pays to know these 6 early throat cancer symptoms.

Do you have strep?

background of various blister packs with pills and capsulesOliver Hoffmann/Shutterstock

If you suspect strep, get checked out by your doctor. If you have strep throat signs, you will get a rapid strep test, in which your doctor takes a throat swab; the results appear in minutes. If the results are positive, you’ll likely receive antibiotics. If the results are negative, you still may not be in the clear. Your doctor can also take a throat culture, which allows strep to grow on the swab. You’ll get a call in a day or two with the results, says Dr. Abramowitz.

Yes, you do need to go to the doc

Close-up of doctor checking patient's vitals at a hospitalmojo cp/Shutterstock

Although strep throat is generally mild, children and teens can develop rheumatic fever if it’s left untreated, the CDC notes. This condition can harm the heart, joints, brain, and skin. The good news is that once you’re diagnosed and treated, you’ll likely recover quickly. “You usually feel better after 24 to 48 hours of being on antibiotics,” says Dr. Abramowitz. Once you’re fever-free for 24 hours, it’s safe to head back to school or work without worrying about infecting others. Next, make sure you know these 6 clear symptoms of the flu.


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