Sore Throat – is it Strep or Something Else?

Viral Sore Throat:






          • Strep Throat Sore Throat:
  • sudden onset sever sore throat lasting all day
  • fevers, on the higher sided
  • chills
  • speech is gargled
  • headache (but not a stuffy head)
  • nausea
  • abdominal pain
  • enlarged lymph nodes around he neck, generally painful
  • back of throat appears very red and with pus
  • rash on the upper chest and neck that looks like sandpaper that is sunburned (scarlet fever) – of note lots of cases in these past 2 weeks of April 2016
  • OF NOTE: if there is also a cough, runny nose, and/or stuffy head, its most likely viral


  • Antibiotics are needed to treat strep.
  • Strep Pharyngitis does go away by itself, but it is treated to prevent Rheumatic Heart Disease (heart condition caused by damage to the heart valves)
  • Change toothbrushes of the person affected 24hrs after being on antibiotics, and change any other toothbrushes that may be in the vicinity of the “infected” toothbrush

**** Special Note **** Some people carry strep in the back of their throat without any symptoms and it causes them no problems.  Thus, its best not to swab and treat those with viral sore throats that clearly do not have strep on an exam done by their doctor or mid-level provider.  Sometimes the Strep Test comes back positive when throats are swabbed for “parent concern” and the child has a virus.  So it is treated.  Treating asymptomatic strep turns this bug into one that will cause problems.  ******

  • Spit Contact – no sharing cups, bottles, toothbrushes (I know disgusting but little siblings often don’t care), etc.
  • Return to school 24hrs after starting antibiotics

Allergies and Sore Throat:


  • itchy and scratchy throat
  • dry throat
  • sneezing
  • coughing
  • watery eyes
  • fatigue
  • swollen face
  • runny eyes
  • goopy eyes
  • local honey daily (on and off allergy season) will help develop oral tolerance to local pollen, grasses, ragweed, mold, etc.  AND soothe the throat
  • take showers at night
  • change clothes after playing/working outside
  • Check out all the tips and trick in this Survival Guide to Spring Allergies



      • Keep a food diary – usual triggers are spicy foods, citrus juices such as OJ and lemonade, caffeine such as sweet tea/coke/mountain dew/sun drop/too much coffee, dairy, tomato based items, chocolate, processed foods such as lunchables/poptarts/frozen dinners, etc.
      • Constipation – this indicates poor digestion and causes a back up that can lead to reflux.  Read here on how to tackle this problem Treatments for Constipation
      • Viral illnesses that can trigger acid overproduction
      • Smoking and Alcohol consumption
      • Stress
      • Medication
      • Supplements
  • Seek advice from your doctor, to better understand the cause and thus develop a treatment plan
  • difficulty breathing
  • drooling
  • difficulty swallowing and concerns for dehydration
  • symptoms of sever sore throat that are progressing rapidly



References :

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