Strep Throat - Length Symptoms Lasted

How long did the symptoms of your strep throat last? Was there anything in particular that helped with pain/symptom relief?

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What are the signs and symptoms of strep throat?

Throat infection with strep bacteria can cause a variety of symptoms associated with inflammation of the throat and its nearby structures. Symptoms usually begin within a few days (1-4 days) after exposure to the bacteria (incubation period).

With strep throat infection, the throat can become red and swollen. White patches may be visible on the back of the throat and the tonsils, suggesting the presence of pus. The presence of fever, swollen and often tender lymph nodes on the sides of the neck, and white patches on the tonsils along with the absence of cough raise the suspicion for strep pharyngitis. Not all of these signs need to be present with strep tonsillopharyngitis. On the other hand, their presence is not specific only to strep throat.

Typical signs of strep throat infection are:

  • fever;
  • swollen, tender lymph nodes on the sides of the neck (cervical lymphadenopathy);
  • white patches seen on the tonsils and throat (tonsillar exudates).

Some other more non-specific signs and symptoms of strep throat which can also be seen in tonsillopharyngitis due to other causes are:

  • sudden onset of sore throat,
  • headache,
  • odynophagia (painful swallowing),
  • nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain,
  • red, swollen soft palate (uvula), and/or
  • rash (diffuse red patchy rash).

The strep throat rash is caused by toxins released from the bacteria, and not necessarily because of the spread of infection to the skin. A strep infection accompanied by this characteristic rash is what is known as "scarlet fever." Scarlet fever can occur in about 10% of children with a strep throat infection, and typically starts around the face and neck area and can spread to the chest, abdomen, and groin region. It has a classic description of "goose bumps on sunburned skin." The rash may start within 12 to 24 hours of the onset of fever and may last for several days. Peeling of the skin of the fingertips may accompany the rash of scarlet fever.

Other features that are more likely to be seen in tonsillopharyngitis due to viral causes include the following:

  • conjunctivitis (eye redness),
  • runny nose (coryza),
  • skin rash (exanthem or small spotted rash),
  • generalized weakness and malaise,
  • muscle aches and pains,
  • cough,
  • hoarseness,
  • diarrhea, and/or
  • oral ulcers.
Return to Strep Throat

See what others are saying

Comment from: 45-54 Male (Patient) Published: October 22

I was half way through work on Tuesday when the stabbing pain while swallowing started. I woke up on Wednesday feverish, exhausted and mute. I went to the doctor that day. He did a quick test for strep throat and came back positive. I was his 4th adult case that day. He prescribed 875 mg of amoxicillin, 2 per day and ibuprofen for pain and fever reduction. Ibuprofen was ineffective at best. 3 days on the amoxicillin and there is no change. It takes 3 to 5 days for it to kick in, I was told. I have tried everything to reduce the swallowing pain. No luck, I am miserable!

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Comment from: Jgrip89, 19-24 Female (Patient) Published: May 21

I am on day 4 with strep throat and so far this is the worst. I felt symptoms Thursday, went to the doctor Friday and started antibiotics immediately. Today I began having a very runny nose and tonight my throat feels extremely dry (despite drinking tons of water) and feels like I"m being stabbed, making me cough quite often. Cough drops and hot tea have been my saving graces so far. I tried ibuprofen and it made me nauseous.

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