Frequently Asked Questions

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.

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