Strep throat is a sore throat caused by bacteria known as Streptococcus pyogenes, or group A streptococcus.

“Sore throat” is the general term for any condition where the throat feels scratchy, tender, and possibly painful. Strep throat, however, is a sore throat caused by a specific strain of bacteria.

In this article, we will cover the causes, symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment of strep throat.

Fast facts on strep throat

  • Strep throat is caused by group A streptococcus bacteria.
  • Streptococcal bacteria are extremely contagious.
  • Children are more susceptible than adults because their immune systems have had less experience of germs.
  • If the sore throat is causing difficulty in breathing, seek medical help immediately.
  • Diagnosis of strep throat often involves a throat swab.

What is strep throat?