What's Going Around: Sore throats

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Most of us are back in the routine of school or work after spending the holidays with family and friends. All of the “together" time we spent may have been the perfect set up for What's Going Around this week --- sore throats and strep throat.

It may start as a cough or a tickle in your throat. Symptoms can include swollen glands or tonsils, painful or difficulty swallowing, the feeling of a 'scratchiness" in your throat, your voice could become hoarse.

OhioHealth Urgent Care doctor Jason Pedrick said he and his team have seen patients complaining of a range of symptoms from a throat tickle to fears they are suffering from strep throat.

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If the pain inside your neck pushes you to urgent care, Dr. Pedrick said a healthcare provider will ask about your symptoms, check the back of your throat, your lymph nodes, and depending upon what they see, run a strep test. Dr. Pedrick said there are several tests with some requiring a culture.

“There's another molecular strep test that all OhioHealth Urgent Cares are using that is very, very accurate and we don't usually need to send for a culture afterward,” he said.

Strep is a bacterial infection and antibiotics are prescribed. It is critical to complete the entire prescription. Sore throats caused by viral infections usually last about seven days and medical experts agree they can be treated with over the counter medications.

Dr. Pedrick recommended preventive steps including thorough hand washing, covering coughs into your elbow, and supplements like zinc, vitamin C and Echinacea.