While strep throat probably affected many of us when we were children, this bacterial infection isn’t a thing of the past. While it is most common among kids between the ages of 5 and 15, strep throat still affects approximately 11,000 and 24,000 Americans every year.

So, is it inevitable that you will get strep throat this year? Definitely not, and our team at AFC Urgent Care Sevierville explains why below.

How Can I Get Strep Throat?

Strep throat is caused by bacteria called group A Streptococcus (also known as group A strep, or GAS). The most common way to get strep throat is by touching your eyes, nose or mouth after being exposed to these bacteria.

Strep throat can also be spread by coughing, sneezing and when you share food or drink with someone who’s infected. If you aren’t sure whether or not you have strep throat, we’ve listed some of its common symptoms below.

Common Strep Throat Symptoms

  • A sudden fever, especially if it’s 101˚F or higher
  • A sore, red throat with white patches
  • A headache
  • Chills
  • A loss of appetite
  • Swollen lymph nodes in the neck
  • Trouble swallowing

Is It Possible to Avoid Strep Throat?

Definitely! One of the most effective ways to steer clear of this bacterial infection is by upholding the COVID-19 precautions that you have already been practicing, such as wearing a mask in public, staying socially distant from others and coughing or sneezing into your sleeve or a tissue.

While these things are highly effective in lowering your risk of strep throat, it’s still possible to get sick. If you experience any of the below symptoms, visit your doctor. If he or she suspects that you have strep throat, a rapid strep test will likely be performed to accurately confirm the diagnosis.

More Ways to Avoid Strep Throat

  • Stay away from others who are sick.
  • Don’t share personal items, such as eating utensils or personal care items, with others.
  • Frequently wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Use a hand sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol if soap and water aren’t readily available.

Strep throat can cause lots of throat discomfort and is quite contagious. If you suspect that you have strep throat, our team at AFC Urgent Care Sevierville is here for you, so don’t hesitate to visit us!