Dr. Sanders: Today I want to talk about the common cold versus strep versus flu. So let’s talk about flu and the common cold first. The common cold is runny nose, sometimes watery eyes, sore throat, and that’s about it. Kind of the common head cold. Influenza is going to be similar symptoms but just profound. So you’ll have a fever often, you’ll get really sick, you’ll feel a lot of fatigue. A common cold can sometimes make you have some body aches and those things, it’s a nonspecific finding. So just think of influenza as a common cold really, really on steroids, so just really, really severe.

Now, let’s talk about the common hold, which will give you a sore throat, inflamed tonsils, a redness in the back of your throat, lots of mucus and coughing and all of that versus strep. Strep is one that you don’t want to miss, you got to treat that, you can get rheumatic fever, you can have heart valve, you can have kidney disease, you can have joint disease from non-treated strep, so we want to definitely detect that. It’s offered for free as part of my membership in Voyage Direct Primary Care. A rapid strep test, we can do that any time we want to.

So, what’s the difference? Well, strep is going to cause sore throat, fever, sometimes a tummy ache and a headache. But the thing that’s real kicker for strep is going to be the they don’t have the mucus, they don’t have the cough, they don’t have the nasal congestion or all of that other stuff. Does it mean that you can’t get a cold on top of a strep, no it doesn’t mean that. And in fact, I’ve almost gotten fooled on that before. As a whole, if you have a cough and you have lots of mucus and you have a sore throat, chances are it’s not strep. If you have a sore throat and a fever and a tummy ache and no cough, no mucus, chances are it’s strep and you have to get tested. 

So just to help you kind of parse through that a little bit, Dr. Sanders with Voyage Direct primary care.