A sore throat is pretty common, as far as symptoms of illness go. Sore throat can be caused by illnesses ranging from the non-serious to the dangerous.If you’ve ever woken up with a sore throat after spending the day before cheering your heart out at a football game or screaming along to the lyrics at your favorite band’s concert, you also know you don’t need to be sick at all to get a sore throat. sore.throat covid The common cold can also cause a sore throat. And, more recently, we’ve discovered that a sore throat is a sign of COVID-19.
We’ve all likely experienced a sore throat before, but when should it be a cause for worry? And when a sore throat feels the same no matter what the cause, how can we tell if it’s a cold, too much yelling, allergies or a COVID sore throat?
Have COVID-19 questions?
Well, it can feel exactly the same as a cold, according to Brian Curtis, MD, vice president of Clinical Specialty Services for OSF HealthCare. That makes it hard to tell the difference between a cold and a mild case of COVID.
It’s even harder to tell the difference knowing that sore throat is a COVID symptom. The common cold and the virus that causes COVID-19 are both the same type of virus – called a coronavirus – and can cause similar symptoms.
One of the early symptoms of COVID is a fever. However, as different strains of COVID spread, it’s possible to have a COVID sore throat and no fever or other symptoms.
But, Dr. Curtis said, it’s more common to have other symptoms in addition to a sore throat if you have COVID.
“Only about 5-10% of COVID-19 patients will have an isolated sore throat. Usually, they will have a touch of fever, loss of taste and smell and difficulty breathing.”
“We have to be very vigilant with cold symptoms,” Dr. Curtis said. “We as a society used to be kind of dismissive of cold symptoms, but we can’t be dismissive of them now. If you have just a sore throat with no other symptoms, it’s less likely to be COVID-19. But with other symptoms, it is possible you have COVID. Sore throat, cough, fever – I would be worried about COVID.”
If you develop any other symptoms – even milder symptoms you typically associate with a common cold – you should contact your physician or get tested for COVID-19. Tests can be done easily with an at-home test.
Even if you have a mild case of COVID-19, you could spread the coronavirus to someone who suffers a worse infection. You need to be sure you aren’t putting others at risk if you have any possible COVID-19 symptoms.
How long does COVID sore throat last? According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), symptoms of COVID typically last between five days and two weeks. But if it lasts longer than five days, Dr. Curtis said, it could be something else and is worth getting checked out by your provider.
Did you recently get a new pet and are now experiencing a sore throat? Could be allergies. There are many causes for your sore throat, such as:
If you also have difficulty swallowing, you should be seen by your physician. If you experience shortness of breath, you should be evaluated. If you have a single lump on one side of your neck, you should get evaluated.
If your cold symptoms turn out to be due to an actual cold, you need some fluids and rest, and you should be back up in a couple days.
If you’ve got a sore throat with a fever, but no runny nose or cough, you might have strep throat. sore.throat covid Check for white spots on the tonsils – a sign of a secretion caused by inflammation of the tonsils – and tender nodes on the front of your neck. Contact your physician.
If your sore throat is accompanied by a low-grade fever and extreme fatigue, it could be mononucleosis (mono), which is most common in people in their teens and 20s. Contact your physician.
Influenza can cause a sore throat that is typically very abrupt, and commonly joined by body aches, fevers and headache.