Since the Covid-19 pandemic, it has been hard to distinguish between Covid-19 and certain illnesses with similar symptoms without getting tested. For instance, Strep throat has some similar symptoms to Covid, such as sore throat, fever, body aches, cough, runny nose and in some cases difficulty breathing. Similarly, Covid symptoms include sore throat, cough, difficulty breathing, fever, body aches, congestion, runny nose, etc. While symptoms of Covid-19 can include many of the same things as strep throat, Covid-19 can lead to more serious respiratory illnesses. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, it’s important to seek urgent care. 

The best way to distinguish between the two illnesses is to get tested. It’s important to be able to distinguish between the symptoms of strep throat and Covid-19, as they can often be quite similar. Luckily, both Strep and Covid infection/exposure can be detected by diagnostic testing and it is essential to get tested and diagnosed with the correct type of illness in order to get the proper treatment. In order to test for strep throat, your doctor will likely do a rapid strep test, which involves swabbing your nose and throat. The test for Covid-19, which involves taking a swab of your nose and throat as well. Covid-19 is caused by a virus called SARS-CoV-2, so while the best way to fight Covid is antibodies that are acquired and built through vaccination or previous infection, and some medication may help ease the symptoms, because Covid-19 is caused by a virus, there is no specific treatment for it other than supportive care. Strep throat is a bacterial infection caused by group A streptococcus bacteria and thus must be treated with antibiotics.

What are the differences between the major types of transmission?

World Health Organization (WHO) states the differences between airborne and droplet transmission, “Airborne transmission is different from droplet transmission as it refers to the presence of microbes within droplet nuclei, which are generally considered to be particles <5μm in diameter, can remain in the air for long periods of time and be transmitted to others over distances greater than 1 m.” (Strep Throat is transmitted through droplet; whereas, Covid-19 can be airborne, it can also be transmitted through contact and droplet which makes it easier to transmit. World Health Organization (WHO) states that “According to current evidence, COVID-19 virus is primarily transmitted between people through respiratory droplets and contact routes… In the context of COVID-19, airborne transmission may be possible in specific circumstances and settings in which procedures or support treatments that generate aerosols are performed” 

Is Covid-19 more contagious than Strep Throat?

There is no easy answer to this question as Covid-19 and strep throat are both contagious respiratory illnesses. Covid-19 is believed to be more transmissible than strep throat, as it can be spread through close contact with an infected person or by coming into contact with droplets expelled from their mouth or nose and in some cases it can be airborne. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Strep can only be spread from person to person via direct contact or repertory droplets. Thus, it may be easier to transmit Covid-19 than Strep Throat. 

Strep throat is a bacterial infection that is spread through contact with respiratory secretions, such as saliva, mucus, or blood. It is most commonly spread through coughing and sneezing. Strep throat is contagious and can be passed from person to person. The bacteria that causes strep throat can be killed with antibiotics, which means the person infected is no longer contagious after a certain period of taking them. Strep is highly contagious and can easily be passed on to others, but the person infected is no longer contagious after taking antibiotics 12 hours after antibiotic treatment has commenced. On the other hand, Covid-19 can be transmitted when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or talks. The virus can also be transmitted through contact with saliva, mucus, or blood of an infected person. It is also possible to transmit Covid-19 through contact with objects or surfaces that have been contaminated with the virus. Covid-19 is most contagious during the early stages of infection when people are most likely to show symptoms. However, the virus can remain contagious for up to several days after symptoms have disappeared. Evidently, Covid-19 is also easier to transmit than Strep Throat because an individual infected with Covid can be contagious for an extended period of time; whereas, Strep is only contagious to those around you for up to 12 hours after the start of antibiotic treatment.

What are the differences between Strep testing and Covid testing?

Covid testing is a more sensitive test that can detect the virus even if it is at a lower level in the sample, this type of testing is called reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). This makes it more accurate for detecting the virus. Covid-19 diagnostic test also includes a Rapid Antigen test; however, this test is not as accurate as PCR testing and is more likely to result in false negatives and false positives. Strep throat is diagnosed using the rapid strep test which is a more common test used to detect strep throat. This test looks for antibodies to the strep bacteria. Covid-19 and strep throat are both respiratory illnesses, so they share some common symptoms. Some of these symptoms include swollen red tonsils, body aches, and a sore throat. However, there are some key differences between the two illnesses. Covid-19 is caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus, while strep throat is a bacterial infection caused by group A streptococcus bacteria. Covid-19 is also more contagious than strep throat and can be transmitted through coughing and sneezing. Strep throat is not as contagious and does not spread as easily. Another key difference is that Covid-19 can cause more serious symptoms than strep throat, including difficulty breathing. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, it is important to seek urgent care.

If you or someone you know is experiencing symptoms of either strep throat or Covid-19, it’s important to seek medical attention. Your doctor will be able to order the appropriate tests and provide you with the best course of treatment. Stay safe and healthy!

Do you have any questions or concerns about Covid-19 or strep throat? Leave us a comment below and we’ll be happy to answer them!

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