Strep Throat vs Covid

People experiencing sore throats are more concerned about what’s causing it. However, less than a year ago, a simple sore throat was not an issue of concern. Since the onset of the pandemic feeling the slightest changes in the throat under the changing weather automatically makes people wonder. Whether they contracted with COVID-19 or everything is well. We can also feel how stressful it is therefore we compiled a list of various details between strep throat and COVID-19 in the hope that it will help you determine the difference in their symptoms and treatment.

What is Strep Throat?

Strep throat is an infection that can make your throat feel sore and scratchy. In other words, it is a bacterial infection that causes inflammation and pain in the throat. Bacteria that cause this bacterial infection is group A Streptococcus. In addition, strep throat can affect both children and adults of all ages.

According to research, it is common in children between the ages of 5 and 15. Most importantly, this infection can spread from one person to another. Strep throat can cause implications such as rheumatic fever or kidney inflammation if untreated. Do you know – rheumatic fever can lead to a specific type of rash, heart valve damage, painful and inflamed joints.

Commonly children are affected by strep throat. For instance, if you and your child are suffering from symptoms of strep throat. You should consult your family doctor or physician for prompt testing and treatment

Is Strep throat a synonym of Sore Throat?

“Strep throat” is not a synonym of “Sore throat” because signs and symptoms of strep throat are different. However, some of its symptoms are common too. A sore throat is an indication that a cold is on its way. But strep throat is a bacterial infection that occurs due to streptococcal bacteria. However, it can also make your throat sore, and ignoring it can lead it to a major condition.

According to Dr. James Lin, a board-certified internal medicine doctor, the difference between both of these are:-

Sore throat:- It is a viral infection that can be a side effect of allergies.

Symptoms:- Difficulty in swallowing, red swollen tonsils, red, swollen throat, and cold symptoms such as coughing, headache, or running nose.

Its length of contagion is 5 to 7 days from the onset of symptoms.

Strep Throat:- It’s a bacterial infection caused by streptococcal bacteria.

Symptoms:– You may suffer from pus in the throat, white spots on the tongue,  red swollen tonsils, red, swollen throat, chest neck rash, difficulty in swallowing, swollen lymph nodes in the neck, fever, headache or chills.

Strep Throat vs. Covid

Strep Throat vs Covid


You have already read about strep throat that it’s a bacterial infection caused by group A Streptococcus bacteria. Before getting into symptoms and treatment methods of strep throat and covid. Let’s also understand what is covid 19 basically? Covid 19 is basically a respiratory virus caused by the novel coronavirus of 2019. It is also referred to as a severe acute “SARS-CoV-2” or Coronavirus 2  respiratory syndrome. Below you should read to know what are the general symptoms of strep throat and coronavirus and what is its treatment.

Strep throat vs. Covid Symptoms

Covid and strep throat can easily be transmitted to each other through infected droplets of a sick person. There are various differences in symptoms of both coronavirus and strep throat disorders. However, strep throat and COVID-19 can produce some same symptoms which include:

  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Body aches
  • Vomiting

Moreover, both of these disorders also have their own unique symptoms too which are necessary to notice the difference between both of these. Below mentioned symptoms of both covid 19 and strep throat helps you determine if you have strep throat, COVID 19, or something else. For instance, if you are suffering from all these symptoms, chances are that you are suffering from strep throat, not Covid 19.

Symptoms of Strep Throat

  • Pain in the throat when swallowing
  • Swollen red tonsils
  • In some cases, pus or white patches
  • Tiny red spots under the upper part of the mouth
  • Swollen and tender lymph nodes at the front of the neck
  • A rash in the neck
  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Hoarseness
  • Nausea or vomiting—especially in children

Most importantly, a sore throat may not show up if you are suffering from COVID 19. According to a study in China, approx 55,000 pandemic patient’s diagnoses showed that only 14% had sore throat symptoms.

On the other hand, if you’re experiencing any of the below-mentioned symptoms, you might have Coronavirus and not strep throat:

  • Chills and fever
  • Congestion
  • Coughing
  • Diarrhea
  • Fatigue
  • Headache
  • Loss of taste or smell
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Shortness of breath/Breathing difficulty
  • Sore throat

The symptoms of strep throat are different from Covid. However, on a physical exam, when you look in the throat, Strep throat symptoms can be diagnosed easily while COVID symptoms and diagnoses can take longer to incubate.

What are the treatments Covid vs. Strep Throat?

As discussed above, strep throat is a bacterial infection. On the other hand, Covid-19 is a respiratory virus. It is important to describe that antibiotics can treat bacterial infections only. They don’t have any effect on the Covid-19 virus. Till now there is no specific medication to treat covid 19. Although researchers are working to find effective medication to prevent people from this pandemic.

Considering urgent care treatment for strep throat and covid 19, some trained and professionals are only able to determine whether you have strep throat, COVID-19, or something else. If you are experiencing severe symptoms of covid call your doctor or schedule a virtual visit with a physician. You should also consult a doctor if a throat infection is of more than a week.


Is my sore throat covid?

If you are suffering from a sore throat with no other symptoms, then there are fewer chances of covid. But if you have symptoms other than a sore throat, it is possible to have covid 19 such as  Sore throat, cough, fever, headache- it can be covid and you should consult the doctor for test and treatment.

When is time to see the doctor?

If symptoms warrant a visit to a doctor, you should not avoid it. You may not know when your illness becomes a serious complication. This is seriously true for people coming in high-risk groups like children, women, adult, and other of 65 above the age. Also, people with certain health conditions more likely to have implications.

Particularly if you’re having trouble breathing, then it can be Covid 19 because this is the major symptom that put COVID patients in the hospital. Various emergency warning signs for COVID-19 are:-

  • Trouble in breathing
  • Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
  • Inability in staying awake
  • Blue face or lips

If you are suffering from these symptoms, you should seek emergency care immediately.

Can Covid cause Tonsilitis?

Sore throat is common in both tonsillitis and covid-19. However, tonsillitis causes inflammation and discomfort to the specific area of the tonsils. Tonsillitis and covid- 19 can share several symptoms including fever, sore throat, digestive issues, and headache. Tonsillitis has some unique symptoms too such as swollen tonsils, bad breath, enlarged lymph nodes, and that is not a symptom of Covid 19. Most importantly, tonsillitis does not cause by Covid-19 because it’s not a symptom of covid-19.

Other reasons why your throat might hurt

There are various reasons that cause sore throat. Mainly, allergies and infections are the results of sore throat. Some other reasons are:-

  • Cold, flu, and viral infections (common cold, influenza, measles, chickenpox, mumps)
  • Strep throat and other bacterial infections
  • Allergies releases chemicals that cause congestion and throat irritation.
  • Dry air sucks moisture from the mouth and keeps them dry especially in winter which can be the cause of sore throat.
  • Smoke, chemicals, and other irritants (cigarette, tobacco smoke, air pollution, cleaning products, and other chemicals)
  • An injury such as a hit or cut to the neck or a portion of food stuck in your throat can also hurt you.
  • Gastroesophageal reflux disease can also be the cause of sore throat.

Bottom Line

It is hard to know for people their sore throat is a part of covid or not. You can read the above symptoms which will help you to determine whether your symptoms are of covid, strep throat, or any other disease. In case, if you’re still worried or confused you may have COVID or strep, it is definitely time to consult your doctor.

Strep throat is common in children but it’s highly infectious and may spread. There is a simple strep test that can determine if you have the disease or not. As discussed above, the treatment for strep is with antibiotics. Moreover to test Covid doctors take sample nose or throat sample and then these samples sent to the lab for diagnosis. Currently, there is no permanent cure for Covid-19.

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