Strep Throat: When to Go to the ER?
Fortunately, strep throat, though painful and highly contagious, requires a trip to the emergency room only under very rare circumstances. The first step is to determine if a sore throat is actually strep throat. “Strep throat, when to go to the ER” might be revised to “Strep throat, when should I go to FastMed for testing?” Here are some of the strep throat symptoms that may indicate a need to seek medical attention:
- Sore throat for longer than two days
- Difficulty swallowing
- Fever higher than 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit
- Pus (yellowish dots) on back of throat
- For young children – excessive drooling
- Contact with someone with strep throat
Sore Throat vs Strep Throat
According to the National Institute of Health’s Medical Library, strep throat most frequently strikes children from 5 to 15. It is normally passed among family members, but anyone can get it. Strep throat is a bacterial infection – not a virus like most sore throats – which is why it requires antibiotic treatment. It can take 2-5 days before symptoms begin, but strep suffers can expect swollen glands, fever and sometimes a skin rash. It’s very important to be treated for strep throat because left untreated it can develop into rheumatic fever. If you’re experiencing the symptoms above, we encourage you to get tested for strep.
Find the FastMed Urgent Care nearest you using the locator at the top of the page – no appointment is necessary and walk-in patients are welcome. FastMed medical professionals will swab your throat, process the results right on site (no waiting for an outside lab to do the testing!) and prescribe antibiotics as needed. Antibiotics do not help virus-related sore throats, so if the test comes back negative for strep, a different course of treatment will be determined.
FastMed is open 365 days a year, with extended hours to treat illness, address minor injuries, do school, work or DOT physicals and immunizations. We have x-ray machines on site and offer programs to help keep your healthcare costs manageable. Our goal is to be your neighborhood medical provider - FastMed brings health care to you, on your schedule, with your convenience in mind.