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Strep Throat vs Mono

Strep throat and mono can share many of the same symptoms, but their treatment options are very different. Both illnesses can have you feeling exhausted and desperate for treatment. Visit AFC Urgent Care New Bedford for both illnesses. We provide testing for both mono and strep throat and can prescribe the best treatment options to speed up your recovery. 

Key Differences

Mono and strep throat both cause painful sore throats, a fever, and swollen lymph nodes. However, key differences include the tonsils having white patches or red spots on the roof of the mouth, which indicated strep throat. Mono, on the other hand, can cause symptoms in other areas of the body. For example, it can cause a patient’s spleen to swell, resulting in pain and pressure in the upper left part of the abdomen. 

Symptoms and treatment of strep throat

Strep throat is caused by bacteria. It most commonly infects children, but adults can get it too. Once a patient becomes infected, symptoms start within three days. Signs of strep throat include:

  • Sore throat that comes on suddenly
  • Painful swallowing
  • Inflammed tonsils that are red and have white spots
  • Fever with body aches
  • Headache

When getting tested for strep throat, the physician will use a swab to collect a sample from the back of the patient’s throat. From there, it is analyzed in the on-site lab, and results are found within 15 minutes. Strep can be contracted through close contact with someone who is infected, as well as touching your mouth or nose after touching an infected surface. Washing your hands frequently and covering your mouth while sneezing or coughing can reduce contracting the illness.

Antibiotics can be prescribed to help fight off the illness and usually begin to relieve symptoms within 48 hours. Advil can also help reduce pain in the meantime. Getting plenty of rest and drinking clear fluids can also help to speed up the recovery process. 

Symptoms and treatment of mono

Mono is a slow-moving virus that typically takes between four to six weeks to show symptoms. Compared to strep, symptoms of mono take a while to appear and may not show up all at once. Signs of mono include

  • Fatigue
  • Fever
  • Store throat
  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Swollen spleen or liver

Symptoms of mono can last between two to four weeks, but it is possible to continue feeling tired after that time has passed. The virus that causes mono is primarily spread through contact with saliva. A blood test is conducted to determine if a patient has mono. It is analyzed in a lab, and results are found within a few days. 

There is no vaccine or specific treatment that can help treat mono. Depending on symptoms, your provider may prescribe other medications that can help alleviate the severity. The best course of action is to get plenty of rest and stay hydrated to help speed up the recovery.