Is Strep Throat Serious?

Nov 02, 2023
misc image
Strep throat is common, but that doesn’t mean it’s not serious or will go away on its own. We discuss the possible complications of untreated strep throat here.

A sore throat is a common symptom of many different viruses, including the flu and the common cold. When you have a sore throat as a result of a virus, it typically clears up in a few days. 

Strep throat, on the other hand, is a severe sore throat caused by a bacterial infection that infects your throat and your tonsils. Because strep throat is caused by a bacterial infection, only antibiotics can kill the infection and relieve your symptoms. Strep throat won’t just go away on its own. 

When you have strep throat, and it goes untreated, it can carry serious repercussions for your health. Our team at San Feliz Urgent Care in Glendale, California, understands these risks.

Here’s what we want you to know:

Explaining strep throat

Strep throat gets its name from the bacterium that causes the infection: group A Streptococcus. These bacteria can travel through droplets when someone with strep throat coughs or sneezes, making it extremely contagious.  

Strep throat is most often found in children ages 5-15, but can also affect those who are around school-age children, such as parents, siblings, daycare providers, and school teachers. There are 616 million cases of strep throat diagnosed each year and accounts for 15% of sore throat complaints. 

When you have strep throat, you might notice some of the following symptoms:

  • Sore throat that comes on suddenly
  • Sudden high fever
  • Chills
  • Headache
  • Loss of appetite
  • Abdominal pain

Because your throat becomes so swollen with strep throat, you may have extreme difficulty chewing and swallowing.

Why treating strep throat is so important

Getting treated for strep throat not only gives you relief from your symptoms, but can also prevent any potential complications from developing.

Some risks that untreated strep throat can carry include:

  • Abscesses
  • Ear, sinus, and tonsil infections
  • Infection of tissues underneath your skin, or flesh-eating disease
  • Blood infections
  • Joint inflammation
  • Kidney inflammation
  • Scarlet fever, is characterized by a rash
  • Rheumatic fever leads to problems with your heart

While some of these complications are rare, they still pose a serious threat to your health. 

So, when you suspect that you have strep throat, come in to see our team as quickly as possible so we can diagnose your illness and give you prompt and correct treatment. We can diagnose strep throat through a swab test and then prescribe you antibiotics along with any other necessary medications to fight off the infection.

Strep throat should be taken very seriously. To get tested for strep throat, give us a call at 818-296-0201 or use our online scheduler to set up an evaluation today.