Strep throat is one of the most common respiratory illnesses among all age groups in the United States. The symptoms of Strep Throat are common to many other bacterial infections or viruses, and only a positive Strep Test performed by your doctor can confirm that you have the illness.
The symptoms of Strep Throat that occur most often are headache, fever, and sore throat. Other less common symptoms of Strep Throat are vomiting, nausea, rash, and muscle pain. If a culture test shows that you have strep throat, we usually prescribe antibiotics as a treatment. However, due to overuse of antibiotics in many communities, we doctors prefer not to prescribe this Strep Throat treatment unless you test positive, except in cases where a patient has definitely been exposed to the bacteria, or where the patient is particularly susceptible to illness, such as infants or the elderly, or those diagnosed with HIV.
Many people also follow a course if Strep Throat treatment that involves simply treating the symptoms and allowing the bacterial infection to run its course. The majority of strep throat cases will heal in less than a week even without medication, and generally carry no risk of permanent damage. If symptoms progress you should absolutely seek medical care immediately.