While people tend to think of strep throat as a winter illness, it can strike year-round.
It's definitely part of what's going around right now, in both children and adults.
Symptoms of strep throat
It starts with a tickle, then suddenly it hurts to swallow.
Sore throats are common and often caused by a virus, allergies or even dry indoor air. However, strep throat is caused by a bacteria. While you need a "strep test" to diagnose strep throat for certain, there are a few factors that make it more likely that strep is to blame:
- No cough
- White patches on the tonsils
- A fever
- Tender lymph nodes at the front of the neck
If you suspect strep throat, you can get tested. Antibiotics may be helpful.
While strep throat is definitely painful, some of the worst sore throats actually are caused by mono.
Regardless, of the cause, if you have trouble swallowing liquids or your own saliva -- the pain or swelling is worse on one side more than the other -- or you have any trouble breathing, you should be seen by a doctor.