Sore throat is a common complaint in urgent care, and the primary concern from patients and parents is strep throat. Strep throat is an infection which is caused by a specific bacteria and leads to sore throat. However, most sore throats are caused by viruses, not bacteria, and they are not treated with antibiotics. It is reported that only three out of ten children with sore throats actually have strep throat.
It is hard to tell the difference between strep throat and a viral sore throat, but there are clues that point in the right direction. Strep throat causes severe throat pain, fever usually higher than 100.4°F, and swollen glands in the neck. There may also be redness on the roof of the mouth or white patches in the back of the throat. Symptoms that are not usually associated with strep throat include cough, runny nose, or itchy or red eyes. Strep throat is uncommon in very young children, but if present, it can cause a runny or stuffy nose with a slight fever. Babies may present with fussiness or a decrease in appetite. If your health care provider suspects strep throat, a quick test in the clinic can confirm the diagnosis.
If you or your child test positive for strep throat, an antibiotic is usually prescribed. Most people with strep throat do get better without antibiotics, but using them reduces the risk of problems that strep throat can sometimes cause. Plus, antibiotics can reduce the symptoms of strep throat and keep it from spreading to others.
If prescribed an antibiotic, it is important to take it as directed and complete the entire course. In addition, offering soothing foods and drinks which are easy to swallow help with discomfort. Popsicles, tea, and soup are excellent options to help maintain hydration. For discomfort, acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) are helpful with throat pain. Do not give aspirin or aspirin containing products to children younger than 18 years as it can lead to a serious medical condition called Reye syndrome.
Returning to work or school should occur after starting antibiotics. If treatment begins prior to 5:00 p.m., the patient will probably no longer be contagious the next morning. As always, the best way to minimize the risk of getting sick is to wash your hands or your child’s hands with soap and water or using an alcohol rub frequently throughout the day.
Xpress Wellness Urgent Care treats non-life threatening illnesses and injuries on a walk-in basis (no appointment needed) for adults and children including common illnesses, sprains, strains, lacerations, flu, allergies, infections, sports physicals, and more.
Xpress Wellness Urgent Care is open 7 days a week with extended evening hours and weekend services. Xpress Wellness Urgent Care offers patients the convenience of selecting a visit time that best fits their schedule through Xpress Check-in.
Xpress Wellness Urgent Care is a privately-held company based in Enid, Oklahoma. The company is led by Dr. Scott Williams, Chief Medical Officer, and Brian Hayden, President. Xpress Wellness has eight locations in Oklahoma—Elk City , Enid, Lawton, Muskogee, Sapulpa, Shawnee, Weatherford, and Woodward. Xpress will open clinics in Andover, Kansas, and Chickasha, Oklahoma, summer 2016.
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This is for informational purposes only and not intended to replace the advice of a medical professional. Everyone’s medical needs vary based on various factors. If you need medical advice or treatment, visit the nearest Xpress Wellness Urgent Care or your primary care provider for evaluation. If you believe your condition is life threatening, call 911.