"The diagnosis should be confirmed by a rapid strep test or a culture," says Dr. Ray Casciari from St. Joseph Hospital in Orange, California. "The treatment of strep requires antibiotics like penicillin, cephalosporins, macrolides, and you must take the whole course, even if you feel better, to prevent complications like scarlet fever or 'superinfection.'"
Superinfection sounds intense. You don't want a strep superinfection.
"Some may have a severe sore throat, others a mild one, others may just have a skin rash, abdominal pains, body aches, or joint pains. Others may have very high fever and full body aches, so it can 'sound like an ouch' when swallowing," says Dr. Voigt. "There is also a particular odor that emanates from some people's tonsils."
It is possible to self-diagnose to some extent, according to Dr. Casciari; if you have a severe sore throat, pus, and a body temperature greater than 101 degrees Fahrenheit in the absence of typical "cold" symptoms such as runny nose and itchy eyes, you should head to the doctor.