Does the Flu Cause Strep Throat?

While the flu does not cause strep throat, it can cause a severe sore throat. Strep throat is caused by bacteria, whereas the flu is a virus. Strep throat can be treated with antibiotics, and the flu typically heals itself within a week. If you believe you have strep throat or the flu, visit AFC Urgent Care Bedford for testing. Our physicians can provide rapid strep tests to prescribe antibiotics to help you feel better within a few days.

Flu Symptoms & Causes

Symptoms of the flu typically show up all at once. It can feel like they come out of nowhere. The flu is essentially a cold that is much worse. Symptoms of the flu include:

  • Fever with body aches or chills
  • Headache
  • Cough
  • Fatigue
  • Sore throat

It is possible for children to experience all of these, as well as vomiting or diarrhea. Symptoms can become severe in some cases, especially those with lower immune systems. Be sure to look out for difficulty breathing, bluish lips, dehydration, or dizziness. These are all signs you should seek medical attention right away.

The flu is most commonly caused by respiratory droplets from an infected person. They can be inhaled or transferred by an infected object to your nose or mouth. It is possible to be contagious one day before symptoms begin and up to five after they start. It is best to avoid others while sick with the flu, especially the elderly or small children.

Prevention of the Flu

The best way to prevent the flu is by getting an annual flu shot. The CDC recommends getting your flu shot in October to be protected for the duration of flu season. On the chance you still get the flu, even after getting the vaccine, your symptoms will be significantly less severe.

Throughout flu season, be sure to wash your hands frequently, especially after being out in public. Avoid touching your face and nose, and use a tissue when sneezing or coughing.

Treatment Options

It is possible to become very tired with the flu, so getting plenty of rest is the best way to speed up your recovery. Also, be sure to drink plenty of clear fluids to maintain hydration, as it is easy to become dehydrated. OTC medications can also help lessen symptoms. Ibuprofen can help with a fever or sore throat, as well as Tylenol. Decongestants, cough medicine, or other antivirals can help you to feel better sooner.