What can mimic strep throat in kids?

Sometimes viral illnesses cause a sore throat that may be mistaken for strep throat. These include common cold viruses, coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), influenza (the "flu"), croup, mononucleosis (“mono”), measles, and chickenpox.

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What looks like strep but isn't strep?

necrophorum pharyngitis is hard to recognize. Its signs and symptoms are very similar to those of strep throat. There is a rapid test for strep; but there is not a routine, commercially available rapid test for F. necrophorum.

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How to tell the difference between sore throat and strep in kids?

A viral sore throat is typically accompanied by other cold-like symptoms, such as cough, sneeze, runny nose and a hoarse or raspy voice. “A strep infection can make it feel very painful to swallow, and often comes with fever of 101-degrees or higher,” said Schairer.

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What are the first signs of strep throat in a child?

Symptoms often include pain and fever
  • Fever.
  • Pain when swallowing.
  • Sore throat that can start very quickly and may look red.
  • Red and swollen tonsils.
  • White patches or streaks of pus on the tonsils.
  • Tiny, red spots on the roof of the mouth, called petechiae.
  • Swollen lymph nodes in the front of the neck.

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Is there a virus like strep throat?

Viral infections also cause a sore throat. In particular, infections with adenovirus and Epstein-Barr virus (also known as Mono) can produce symptoms that are very similar to strep throat. Other viral illnesses, including the common cold, croup, RSV and COVID-19 may also result in a sore throat.

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My child’s sore throat. Viral infection or strep throat?

45 related questions found

What other illness mimics strep throat?

  • Viral pharyngitis.
  • Infectious mononucleosis.
  • Kawasaki disease.
  • Peritonsillar abscess.
  • Retropharyngeal Abscess.
  • Ludwig's Angina.
  • Lemierre Syndrome.
  • Epiglottitis.

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What diseases are similar to strep throat?

  • Strep Throat.
  • Scarlet Fever.
  • Impetigo.
  • Necrotizing Fasciitis.
  • Cellulitis.
  • Streptococcal Toxic Shock Syndrome.
  • Rheumatic Fever.
  • Post-Streptococcal Glomerulonephritis.

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At what age do kids start getting strep?

Although strep throat is most commonly seen in children aged 5 to 15 years old, it can occur at any age. This means that even babies and toddlers can have strep throat, though cases are rare in this age group.

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How do you rule out strep throat?

A rapid antigen test done at your doctor's office can find bacteria from the swab in minutes, so you can find out if strep throat is causing your symptoms. Your doctor will probably send the swab to a laboratory to double check your diagnosis, but this test may take a day or two.

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How does a doctor know if a child has strep A?

If your child has a sore throat and other strep throat symptoms, call your doctor. The doctor will likely do a rapid strep test in the office, using a cotton swab to take a sample of the fluids at the back of the throat. The test only takes about 5 minutes. If it's positive, your child has strep throat.

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Should I get tested for strep throat if my child has it?

A common misconception is that if a child has tested positive for strep, household members should also be tested. Medically, only patients who have symptoms should be tested unless other circumstances arise. Testing and treatment is not recommended for family members or close contacts unless they are ill.

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Does my child have strep or flu?

First, let's distinguish between the two. Strep is a bacterial infection. Strep causes the throat to be very sore and it becomes very painful to swallow and they typically don't eat, or only eat very soft things. With a cold or flu, children usually eat fine or if not the reason is appetite not pain with swallowing.

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Can a child have strep throat without fever?

While it's common for individuals to experience a fever when infected with strep throat, it's possible some people won't have a fever at all. You can be infected with group A Streptococcus and experience no fever. In fact, it's possible you may have little to no noticeable symptoms.

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What does untreated strep look like?

Red and swollen tonsils. Swollen neck glands that may be tender or painful. Difficulty with swallowing. Red and white patches in the throat.

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What causes sore throat besides strep?

Most sore throats are caused by colds, the flu, coxsackie virus or mono (mononucleosis). Bacteria that can cause pharyngitis in some cases: Strep throat is caused by group A streptococcus. Less commonly, bacterial diseases such as gonorrhea and chlamydia can cause sore throat.

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Can strep throat turn into something else?

Left untreated, strep throat can lead to kidney inflammation or rheumatic fever, a serious illness that can cause stroke and permanent damage to the heart. Fortunately, strep throat can be easily diagnosed with a simple throat culture, and promptly treated with a course of antibiotics.

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What are 4 characteristics of strep throat?

Signs and symptoms of strep throat can include:
  • Throat pain that usually comes on quickly.
  • Painful swallowing.
  • Red and swollen tonsils, sometimes with white patches or streaks of pus.
  • Tiny red spots on the area at the back of the roof of the mouth (soft or hard palate)
  • Swollen, tender lymph nodes in your neck.
  • Fever.

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How do kids get strep throat?

The bacteria that cause strep spread through coughing and sneezing. When children breathe in airborne droplets expelled by someone who has strep, they may get sick, too. Strep bacteria can also spread from person to person via shared eating utensils. Teach your children not to share straws, flatware, and glasses.

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How can I test for strep throat at home?

Rapid strep test kits are available over the counter at drugstores and do not require a doctor's prescription. These tests are quick and easy to use, giving you results in as little as five minutes. It works just like a rapid test that doctors perform.

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How bad is strep A for kids?

Strep A infections are more common in children, but adults can also sometimes get them. Most strep A infections are not serious and can be treated with antibiotics. But rarely, the infection can cause serious problems.

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How contagious is strep in kids?

Someone coughs or sneezes and you can actually breathe in those droplets and catch strep. “Those droplets can land on the doorknob or the counter. You get that on your hand and touch your nose or mouth and you will very likely get it,” Spires says. “Strep is as contagious as any virus, if not more.

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Should children go to school with strep A?

If you suspect your child may have Strep A they should not attend school and you should contact your doctor (or 999 in an emergency). If there are confirmed or suspected cases in an education setting there is no reason for children to be kept at home if they are well.

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How do you tell if a sore throat is viral or bacterial?

Knowing whether your sore throat is viral or bacterial is usually determined by symptoms. Viral sore throats usually consist of a cough, swelling in the throat, and runny nose whereas bacterial sore throats are typically accompanied with nausea and vomiting, stomach ache, and there is no cough.

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How can you tell the difference between strep throat and a virus?

While strep throat is painful like viral or allergic sore throats, it is caused by group A streptococcus bacteria, also known as Group A Strep. Bacterial pharyngitis symptoms are somewhat different than other sore throats, and may include: A sore throat without cough/cold symptoms like a runny nose or congestion.

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