February marks the point in the year when illnesses such as norovirus, influenza and the common cold are at their peak. Often forgotten in winter’s swarm of sicknesses is strep throat, which many people associate solely with children. However, strep throat is prevalent during this time for people of all ages – not just children.

People contract strep throat when they come into contact with the Streptococcus bacteriawhich spreads via saliva being passed between people. Like influenza and the common cold, strep throat infects people at a rapid pace, spreading from person-to-person by merely touching everyday objects, such as doorknobs, that have come into contact with infected people. For this reason, schoolchildren often contract strep throat, due to how exposed children are to different viruses in a congested classroom setting.

Strep throat’s symptoms include:

  • Fever
  • Light-headedness
  • Lingering sore throat (hurts to cough or swallow)
  • Flu-like symptoms
    • Headache
    • Nausea
    • Cough

Strep throat often develops in people who already have a cold or flu, due to their immune system being in a weakened state. While the immune system can fight off the infection on its own, occasionally people’s symptoms worsen, eventually necessitating treatment.

At AFC Urgent Care North Andover, we can test for strep throat using our on-site medical laboratory. Our physicians will swab the patient’s throat and then use that sample to determine if the Streptococcus virus is present. If it is, our center can then provide treatment by prescribing patients antibiotics.

For strep throat diagnosis and treatment, walk into our center any day of the week – with no referral or appointment necessary. To speak with one of our medical professionals, call us at 978-470-0800. We look forward to helping you get through the rest of winter strep-free!