The symptoms of strep throat and bronchitis can be similar, but there are some key differences. Strep throat is a bacterial infection that affects the throat and tonsils, while bronchitis is a viral or bacterial infection that affects the airways leading to the lungs.
Symptoms of strep throat can include:
- Sore throat that develops suddenly
- Difficulty swallowing
- Swollen lymph nodes in the neck
- White or yellow spots on the tonsils and back of the throat
- Nausea and vomiting
Symptoms of bronchitis can include:
- Cough that produces mucus (sputum)
- Shortness of breath
- Chest discomfort
- Low-grade fever
- Runny or stuffy nose
- Sore throat
- Body aches
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, it is important to see a healthcare provider for an accurate diagnosis. They may perform a rapid strep test to check for strep throat, or order a chest X-ray or other tests to check for bronchitis. Treatment for strep throat typically involves antibiotics, while treatment for bronchitis may involve rest, hydration, and over-the-counter medications to alleviate symptoms.