Is It More Than a Sore Throat?

DR. DANIEL MARTIN: It’s winter, a lot of people
have all kinds of colds, respiratory illnesses. But the question is: is this just a cold,
or a virus, or do I need some other, further care. See my doctor, go to the emergency department,
see somebody about what’s going on. So, here’s a complaint we always have in the winter: sore throat. A lot of people have sore throats. That’s how colds start and things like that. It’s
very common. But there’s some things that should make you question, “Hey, I really better
go see my doctor about this, this might be something different.” When we try to see if somebody
might have strep throat, for example, there’s some criteria that we base that on. So, first
of all, is there a high fever? And that fever, not just one spike, but maybe it lasts a couple
of days. High fever and prolonged fever, those things worry us about strep throat. One thing
you can do is look in the mirror, somebody looks in your throat and there’s a lot of
white secretions back there, or pus on your tonsils. That could be strep throat. And the
other thing is that you can feel down here by your neck, just under the angles of your
jaw, and if there’s some big, swollen, tender lymph nodes, that could be strep throat. And
finally, actually, the thing that makes strep throat even more likely is you feel like you’re
starting to get a cold but you’re really not coughing, you don’t even have the sinus drainage.
All of this is all down to the throat. So basically, all your symptoms are just a really
bad sore throat, you really don’t even have coughing, post-nasal drip or anything like
that. So no respiratory illnesses, only a really bad sore throat, that actually could be more likely to be strep throat. So those would be a reason that you would
probably see a doctor.

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