Symptoms begin to appear within 1 to 4 days after acquiring strep bacteria, in people who develop strep throat infection. They can range from subtle and mild, to severe and dangerous. The strep infection starts rather quickly, and tonsils become swollen and red. Swallowing can be painful, causing the inability to eat or drink, ending up with varying degrees of dehydration due to the lack of fluids.
Sometimes it can be difficult for doctors to diagnose a strep throat infection just by looking at symptoms. This is because a viral infection has similar symptoms to that of strep. However, the presence of some symptoms or the absence of others, can more accurately predict strep.
If you show symptoms commonly associated with viral infections like diarrhea, ulcers in the mouth, muscle aches, red eyes, hoarseness, and cough, it’s likely you don’t have a strep throat infection. But you should still call your doctor.
In order to get appropriate medical treatment for strep throat you must be diagnosed accordingly. But, if you have most of the following signs it is very likely you are suffering from strep and you should seek medical attention right away.
Sudden sore throat
A strep throat, unlike sore throat caused by allergies or post-nasal drip, does not take long to develop. It takes less than 24 hours to go from a subtle tickle to a very uncomfortable pain.
Swallowing things is especially painful if you have strep, and it’s usually accompanied with a fever that can dehydrate your body and mouth.
A 101°F fever or higher
If you have both a harsh fever and a sore throat, it is likely you have a strep throat infection. Most sore throats don’t include fever, though it’s remotely possible if you have caught the flu or a severe cold.
Swollen and red tonsils
This can also happen if you have tonsillitis, but tonsillitis is not often associated with a harsh fever. In the the event you have previously removed your tonsils, causes are elsewhere.
If your tonsils have streaks of pus, white patches or small red spots it’s probable you have the strep bacteria. The red spots can also appear in other areas inside the mouth.
Nausea, vomiting or headache
These are common symptoms associated with the cold or flu, so it’s difficult to be sure if you have strep throat, unless you show other noteworthy symptoms. Doctors usually take samples from your throat to determine if you have the strep bacteria before prescribing medical treatment.
If you feel sick enough and are showing many strep throat symptoms, a doctor may prescribe you an urgent antibiotic treatment to curtail the condition.
Rash or body ache
These signs are also related to the strep infection, so if you feel like your body’s aching or suddenly develops a rash, seek medical attention quickly, even if it doesn’t look like strep. These symptoms are commonly seen in the cold or flu, yet their presence requires you see a doctor to determine the root cause.
Related : Tips to Prevent Strep Throat