What Is Strep Throat?

Strep throat is an infection of the throat and tonsils caused by a bacteria called Group A streptococcus, also known as Streptococcus pyogenes. This bacteria lives in the nose and throat. You can get the infection from someone who is sick with strep throat or is a carrier of it.

Strep Throat Symptoms

A sore throat is the main sign you have strep. Colds and other viruses can also cause a sore throat. One way to tell the difference is that a virus will often cause a runny nose too.

With strep, the sore throat comes on quickly and is more likely to cause these other symptoms as well:

  • A fever of 101 F or higher
  • Red, swollen tonsils
  • Pain when you swallow
  • Swollen and/or tender lymph nodes at the front of your neck
  • White patches in the throat
  • Tiny red spots on the roof of the mouth 
  • Appetite loss
  • Stomach pain
  • Headache
  • Body aches
  • Nausea vomiting