Unfortunately, without a rapid strep test or a throat culture, your doctor will often be wrong and your child will be treated with antibiotics unnecessarily if he gets a prescription every time he has a sore throat and they rely on those kinds of subjective symptoms.
Strep Throat SymptomsClassic strep throat symptoms include:
- sore throat (pain on swallowing)
- red tonsils that might have a thick white exudate (pus) on them
- swollen lymph nodes (glands) that can be tender
- the sandpaper like rash of scarlet fever
- other associated symptoms, like a headache, abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting
Also remember that your child doesn't have to have tonsils to get strep throat. Even children who have had a tonsillectomy can still get strep throat.
And keep in mind that just because your child has all of the classic symptoms of strep throat, that doesn't mean that he will actually have strep. Many viruses, including mono, will cause very similar symptoms, which is why a strep test or throat culture is so important.
1 Evidence-based emergency medicine/rational clinical examination abstract. The clinical diagnosis of streptococcal pharyngitis. Hafner JW - Ann Emerg Med - 01-JUL-2005; 46(1): 87-9
2 Pharyngitis. Vincent MT - Am Fam Physician - 15-MAR-2004; 69(6): 1465-70