How Can I Tell If I Have COVID-19 or Strep Throat?

So, you woke up with a sore throat. We are sorry you are feeling sick! Different illnesses can cause all kinds of symptoms, but a sore throat is typically a sign that something is going on.

While you may suspect that you are getting sick, a sore throat is a really common symptom! That can make it hard to diagnose yourself at home because it could be COVID-19, influenza, a cold or even strep throat.

That’s what we are here for! Our AFC Urgent Care Gastonia team can perform a rapid test on you to diagnose you quickly. Read on to learn more.

Are COVID-19, Strep Throat and the Flu Related?

While they are all related because they are infections, they are different because they are caused by different things. Strep throat is caused by a bacterial infection, while COVID-19 and the flu are caused by two different viruses. You can contract any of them by interacting with sick people or by touching a surface with the bacteria or virus on it and then touching your face.

If you do get sick, your symptoms might start out pretty generally with a fever, sore throat, body aches or a headache. This is your body’s immune system ramping up and reacting to the illness! All three illnesses have a similar exposure to symptom timeline (between two and five days), so coming to see us is the most reliable way to know what you have.

Common Rapid Tests at AFC

  • COVID-19
  • Influenza
  • Strep throat

What Symptoms Differentiate COVID-19, the Flu and Strep Throat?

Strep throat can sometimes be a bit easier to distinguish than the other two because most of the more severe symptoms will be in your throat area. White patches on the back of your throat, severe pain when swallowing or swollen tonsils can help point us in the right direction.

COVID-19 and the flu are a bit trickier to diagnose because they share so many similar symptoms. In most cases, however, COVID-19 symptoms tend to appear a bit later after exposure and last longer than flu symptoms. Once we know what you have, we can discuss antiviral drug treatments or other treatment options to help you feel better.

COVID-19 and Flu Symptoms

  • Fatigue
  • Shortness of breath
  • Runny nose
  • Fever

Need help determining what is making you sick? Stop by AFC Urgent Care Gastonia for a rapid test.