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Do I have strep throat if I have a sore throat with a cough, no fever, no enlarged or tender neck lymph nodes, and no white discharge from my tonsils or throat?


MedHead Confidence Score: 6
Amount Saved: $150 urgent care visit $25 antibiotic price post


MedHead Message:

Strep throat usually is diagnosed by a rapid strep test in a doctor’s office. But there are other symptoms that would preclude testing. If you have a cough, no fever, are an adult and don’t have white discharge from your tonsils, the odds of having strep throat are very small and a rapid strep test is not needed. Based on the CENTOR score, if you have 2 or more of the above symptoms, you need to have a strep test, otherwise, the sore throat is likely viral or from allergies and doesn’t need to be evaluated.


Am Fam Physician. 2009 Mar 1;79(5):383-390. https://www.cdc.gov/antibiotic-use/community/for-patients/common-illnesses/sore-throat.html


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