Strep throat or streptococcal pharyngitis is a type of pharyngitis caused by group A streptococcus (GAS). It is the cause of 5-15% sore throats in adults and 37% of sore throats in children. This highly contagious infection is spread through contact with an infected person or object, even in the strep throat incubation period.
Although many people use the terms sore throat, strep throat and tonsillitis interchangeably, these three conditions have significant differences. Knowing what is strep throat can give you a better idea of when to be concerned and seek advice from a doctor.
A sore throat is one of the most common symptoms of a bacterial or viral throat infection such as strep throat or the common cold. Distinguishing between a viral throat infection and strep throat is important, because untreated or inadequately treated, these diseases can cause serious complications.
Although some doctors will make a diagnosis and treatment plan primarily by analyzing the symptoms and physical findings, only a combination of strep throat exams and tests such as the rapid DNA test can differentiate between a bacterial infection and a virus.
A sore throat, also referred to as throat pain, is irritation pr pain of the throat, usually caused by a viral or bacterial infection. In this article we will discuss the characteristics of strep throat vs. sore throat, so you will learn how to differentiate between the two conditions.