Strep Throat Treatment Online

Strep throat is a bacterial infection in the throat and the tonsils that is caused by streptococcal bacteria.

Strep Throat

Strep throat symptoms can vary, but patients typically experience:

  • Throat pain that usually quickly appears
  • Painful swallowing
  • Red and swollen tonsils - can have white patches or streaks of pus
  • Tiny red spots in the back of the throat
  • Swollen and tender lymph nodes in your neck
  • Fever
  • Headache
  • And more.

Diagnosing and Treating Strep Throat Online

Strep throat is the more commonly known term for group A streptococcus bacteria. Online doctors on Amwell frequently treat strep throat and can help determine if you have it and if treatment is needed, or if a referral to a specialist is required. ​Our online providers can prescribe medication, however, please note that the decision to provide a prescription or refill is at the sole discretion of the doctor.

Our platform has an image upload feature that is extremely helpful for both providers and patients. You can take and upload a picture of your throat, helping our physicians can get a precise, detailed look before the visit even begins. 

During a video consult on Amwell your doctor will ask you a series of targeted questions to determine if your symptoms point to strep throat. Then your provider will proceed to determine the best treatment plan for you. Your provider may recommend in-person examination by a specialist if this is needed. Your treatment plan is based on the duration and severity of your symptoms and your medical history. Along with these questions, the doctor may ask you to take your temperature, shine a light on the back of your throat, touch the lymph nodes in your neck and report what you feel.

Once a diagnosis has been made, your doctor will go over the risks and benefits of the various treatment plans. Depending on the cause and severity of the infection, your treatment plan may include:

  • Antibiotics - if they are a part of your treatment plan, they can:
    • Relieve a sore throat
    • Make it less likely that it will spread to others
    • Help prevent complications
  • Until the antibiotics start to work, some home remedies include:
    • Over-the-counter pain relievers
    • Rest
    • Gargling
    • Lozenges and hard candy
    • Fluids

Note: To assess the severity of your infection the doctor may ask for your temperature, if possible it would be best to take your temperature before starting the call.

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Got Questions? We’ve Got Answers.

See below for answers to some of our most common questions. You can also call us anytime 24 hours a day at 1‑844‑SEE‑DOCS for questions about our services or to speak to a doctor about your symptoms or conditions.

  • Can you get strep throat multiple times?

    Yes. Some people tend to get strep throat more than others and a common way to get strep again is if it is not cured after the first course of antibiotic treatment. If you have had strep throat 7 or more times in one year, your physician will most likely recommend performing a tonsillectomy.

  • What are the signs of strep throat?

    Strep throat has many symptoms. Some of the more common ones are: 

    • Sore throat that comes on suddenly 
    • Painful swallowing 
    • Fever 
    • Red, swollen tonsils, sometimes with whitish spots or patches 
    • Tiny red spots on the roof of the mouth 
    • Swollen lymph nodes in the neck 

    Strep throat may also cause headaches or stomach aches as well as nausea or vomiting, particularly in children. Some people with strep throat may get a red skin rash, called scarlet fever, before or after feeling ill. 

    Strep throat, which is caused by bacteria called group A Streptococcus, doesn’t typically cause coughs or runny noses. Those symptoms may suggest the illness is caused by a virus instead. 

     

  • Is strep throat contagious?

    Strep throat is highly contagious. When you sneeze, cough or breathe, tiny droplets containing the strep bacteria go into the air and are easily inhaled by others. You can pass strep throat to others until you’ve been taking antibiotics for 1 to 3 days. If you have strep throat, stay home until your fever is gone and you’ve been taking antibiotics for at least 24 hours.  Avoid kissing people or sharing eating utensils when you have strep throat.

  • Can you get strep throat without tonsils?

    It is possible to get strep throat after you’ve had your tonsils removed, although there is some evidence that you may get it less often . Strep throat is when bacteria called group A Streptococcus (group A strep) infect your throat and tonsils. Once you’ve had your tonsils removed (tonsillectomy) the bacteria can no longer infect them but can still infect your throat. What you can’t get after you’ve had your tonsils removed is tonsillitis — what doctors call an infection of the tonsils regardless of the cause. Most cases of tonsillitis are caused by a virus, but when it’s caused by bacteria, the culprit is usually streptococcus, or strep.

  • Should I stay away from my pets if I have strep throat? Can animals get it?

    Animals can get strep throat. On the flip side, it is rare for an animal to pass the streptococcal bacteria to humans.

  • Are there any home remedies for pain relief with strep throat?

    To soothe the pain of strep throat, stay hydrated. Drink plenty of water or other cool beverages. If you find warm drinks more comforting, try tea or broth. Throat lozenges, hard candies, or frozen fruit pops can also help ease your strep throat. When eating, stick to soft foods. Gargling with saltwater can also help; it reduces swelling and irritation . Mix ¼ teaspoon of salt with 4 ounces of warm water  and gargle with it, but don’t swallow. If your strep throat is still sore, consider an over-the-counter pain reliever such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) or acetaminophen (Tylenol). Never give aspirin to children under age 18.

  • How long does strep throat typically last?

    If you do not receive treatment for strep throat with antibiotics, you will remain contagious for two to three weeks. You will be much less contagious if you begin treatment with antibiotics – even after 24 hours.

  • Does strep throat go away on its own?

    Strep throat typically goes away within three to seven days with or without antibiotic treatment. If strep throat is not treated with antibiotics, you may be contagious for two to three weeks and at a higher risk for complications such as rheumatic fever.

  • What are some complications from strep throat?

     If strep throat is left untreated it can cause serious complications, including:

    • scarlet fever
    • an ear infection
    • post-streptococcal glomerulonephritis (inflammation of the kidneys)
    • sinusitis
    • rheumatic fever
  • What does strep throat look like?

    A sore throat that starts very quickly is one of the most common symptoms of strep throat. But there are also visible signs, including:

    • Fever and no cough or cold symptoms
    • Red, swollen tonsils (the lumps on either side of the back of your throat)
    • White patches or streaks on your tonsils
    • Tiny red spots, called petechiae, on the roof of your mouth

     Strep throat is more common in children under the age of 19. If your child has it they may also get a red rash, called scarlet fever or scarlatina. The rash may start out as flat blotches and later turn to fine bumps that feel like sandpaper.

     While these are all common signs of strep throat, a doctor cannot tell for sure if you or your child has it just by looking at your throat. A rapid strep test or throat culture are the only ways to determine whether group A Streptococcus (strep throat) is the cause of your illness.

  • What does strep rash look like?

    The bacteria that cause strep throat — group A Streptococcus — can cause a red rash that’s often accompanied by sore throat and fever. This is called scarlet fever, or scarlatina. The rash starts as flat red blotches and later turns into tiny bumps that have a rough, sandpapery feel. While the rash may show up first on the neck, underarm, or groin area, it can spread to the rest of the body. It can also appear brighter red in areas such as the elbows and underarms. In addition, scarlet fever can cause your tongue to look red and bumpy.

    Scarlet fever is usually a mild infection and is treated with antibiotics. The rash typically fades in about a week, but the skin can peel for several weeks afterward.

  • How do you get strep?

    Strep throat is caused by bacteria, called group A Streptococcus, that live in your nose and throat. It spreads when people who are infected cough or sneeze, releasing tiny droplets that carry the bacteria. You can catch strep throat if you breathe in those droplets or touch something that has droplets on it and then touch your nose or mouth. You can also catch strep throat by using an eating utensil that an infected person has used, or by touching skin sores — called impetigo — that are caused by group A strep.

  • How long is the incubation period for strep?

    After you’ve come in contact with group A Streptococcus, the bacteria that cause strep throat, it usually takes two to five days before you feel ill. You may not even know you were exposed to the illness. That’s because people who are infected with group A strep may not have symptoms. You are most contagious when you have a fever over 100.4 but can be contagious to others for 48-hours before the symptoms begin.

     If you have strep throat, you can spread it to others until you have been taking antibiotic treatment for one to three days. Children with strep throat shouldn’t return to school or day care until they no longer have a fever and have been taking antibiotic treatment for 24 hours.

  • Is strep throat more common in kids than adults?

    Yes. Strep throat is most common among children ages 5 to 15. It’s rare in children under the age of 3.

    While strep throat is not very common in adults, some adults can be at higher risk of catching the illness. This includes parents of school-age children and adults who have a lot of contact with children and those under high stress.

  • Can one have strep throat without a fever?

    A fever is a common symptom of strep throat. However, it is possible to be infected with group A Streptococcus, the bacteria that cause strep throat, and not have a fever — or any symptoms at all. People known as “carriers” can have the bacteria in their nose or throat without getting ill.

    You can also be infected with group A strep but not have a fever because you are within the two- to five-day incubation period for the illness.

    If you have other symptoms — such as a sore throat; red, swollen tonsils; or swollen glands — but no fever, your doctor may still want to test you for strep throat.

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