HOW TO TELL THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN FLU AND STREP
Flu & Strep Sugar Land are two common illnesses that can cause similar symptoms. Both can cause fever, sore throat, and body aches. However, knowing the difference between the two can help you receive the appropriate treatment and feel better faster.
SYMPTOMS OF FLU
The flu is a viral infection that affects the respiratory system. Symptoms usually come on suddenly and can include:
- Sore throat
- Body aches
SYMPTOMS OF STREP
Strep throat is a bacterial infection that affects the throat and tonsils. Symptoms can include:
- Sore throat
- Swollen tonsils with white patches or streaks of pus
- Tender or swollen lymph nodes in the neck
- Nausea and vomiting (more common in children)
DIFFERENCES BETWEEN FLU AND STREP
While some symptoms of the flu and strep overlap, there are some key differences to look for:
- The flu usually comes on suddenly, while strep symptoms may develop more gradually
- The flu often causes body aches and chills, which are not common with strep
- Strep throat often causes swollen tonsils with white patches or streaks of pus, which are not common with the flu
- The flu is caused by a virus, while strep throat is caused by a bacterial infection
DIAGNOSIS AND TREATMENT
If you suspect that you have either the flu or strep, it’s important to see a healthcare provider for a proper diagnosis.
Your healthcare provider may perform a rapid flu test and/or a strep test to determine which illness you have. Treatment will depend on the diagnosis:
- The flu usually resolves on its own with rest, fluids, and over-the-counter medications to relieve symptoms. Antiviral medications may be prescribed in some cases.
- Strep throat is treated with antibiotics to kill the bacteria. It’s important to take the full course of antibiotics as prescribed to prevent complications.
The best way to prevent the flu and strep is to practice good hygiene:
- Wash your hands frequently with soap and water, especially before eating or touching your face
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick
- Cover your nose and mouth when coughing or sneezing
- Stay home when you are sick to prevent spreading the illness to others
- Get the annual flu vaccine to protect against the flu
Knowing the difference between the flu and strep can help you receive the appropriate treatment and feel better faster. If you suspect that you have either illness, it’s important to see a healthcare provider for a proper diagnosis and treatment.