Is a Sore Throat a Symptom of the Coronavirus

Having a sore throat is a common symptom of many different illnesses, ranging from non-serious to more dangerous. It is even common to get a sore throat without being sick, for example after over exerting your voice by yelling too loud at a sporting event or a music concert. The COVID-19 pandemic has made having a sore throat even more pressing because a sore throat is also a common symptom of the coronavirus. So, when should you worry about a sore throat? Below is more information on when you should and shouldn’t worry about having a sore throat.

What Causes a Sore Throat?

In general, a sore throat by itself is not something to worry over. In fact, there are plenty of possible causes for your sore throat, including:

* Irritation from allergies (e.g. from a pet) air pollution or overuse
* Smoking
* A virus or infection such as strep throat
* Influenza - which can cause a sore throat that is commonly very abrupt, and joined by body aches, fevers and headache

When to Be Concerned About a Sore Throat?

If your sore throat remains longer than a week, you should consider contacting your healthcare provider. However, if you develop any other symptoms – even milder symptoms you associate with a common cold (cough, runny nose, headache) – you should contact your provider sooner and even consider getting tested for COVID-19. You may be surprised to learn that the virus that causes the common cold and the virus that causes COVID-19 are both called a coronavirus. In fact, many mild cases of COVID-19 appear exactly like a cold. The biggest difference is that if you have a mild case of COVID-19, you could spread the virus to someone who ends up suffering a much worse infection. The bottom line is, if you have a sore throat with no other symptoms, it’s less likely to be COVID-19. But with other symptoms (fever, cough, muscle aches), it is possible you have COVID-19.

What to Do if You Have a Sore Throat

If you have a sore throat, you should first try to determine the cause and evaluate your health for other symptoms. Don’t start by using the internet to search and diagnose yourself with random conditions. Instead, here are some steps you could take based on your evaluation of your symptoms:

* If you also have difficulty swallowing or shortness of breath, you should contact your provider.
* If you have typical cold symptoms and not COVID-19, you need fluids and rest to get you back on your feet in a few days.
* If you also have a fever, but no runny nose or cough, you might have strep throat. Contact your provider soon to make sure you get a strep test and start treatment.
* If you have a low-grade fever and extreme fatigue, you may have mononucleosis. Patients with mono will also need physician diagnosis and treatment.
* A sore throat joined by body aches, fevers and headache are commonly experienced by patients with influenza.

Should I Get Tested for Coronavirus if I have a sore throat