When it comes to strep throat—or really any type of sickness—visiting a healthcare provider ASAP is always the best plan of action.

Medical experts suggest visiting your doctor at least 48 hours after experiencing strep throat symptoms, such as a sore throat that is accompanied by a fever.

Our AFC Urgent Care Knoxville team provides further info on strep throat below, so keep reading!

What Is Strep Throat?

Strep throat is a bacterial infection that is caused by group A Streptococcus bacteria, which causes throat pain and inflammation.

While the overall symptoms of strep throat vary a little bit, the first symptoms typically remain consistent. In many cases, the first symptoms of this infection are a sore throat, difficulty swallowing and a fever. We’ve listed some more common symptoms of strep throat below.

Common Strep Throat Symptoms

  • Sore, red throat with white patches
  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Chills
  • Loss of appetite
  • Swollen lymph nodes in the neck
  • Trouble swallowing

How Soon Should I Seek Treatment for Strep Throat?

Like we said earlier, it’s best to seek treatment at least 48 hours after experiencing strep throat symptoms. You could probably stand a week of symptoms before getting medical treatment, but it’s best to get treatment sooner than later.

Furthermore, if strep throat goes untreated, it could cause some serious, life-altering health complications. It’s best to get tested for strep throat ASAP after experiencing symptoms to ensure that you stay healthy and get treated quickly. We provide molecular, rapid strep tests at our AFC center, so don’t hesitate to stop by today if you need a test! You don’t need to make an appointment.

Potential Complications Caused By Untreated Strep Throat

  • Abscesses (infected pockets) in your throat
  • Infected lymph nodes in the neck
  • Middle ear infection
  • Sinus infection
  • Rheumatic fever, which can cause damage to the heart, joints, nervous system and skin. This is rare, and it occurs mainly in children ages 5 to 15.
  • Scarlet fever—a bright red, sandpaper-like rash that starts on the face and neck and spreads through the body; it can be caused by strep throat or strep skin infections.
  • Toxic shock syndrome—a rare but potentially life-threatening condition caused by strep bacteria releasing toxins into the body

Feeling rough? Visit our AFC Urgent Care Knoxville center today!