Yes, you will. Because it’s a bacterial infection, strep throat won’t go away on its own. Antibiotics are necessary for strep throat to be eliminated from your system, and if it isn’t eliminated from your system, it can cause harmful complications.

Our AFC Urgent Care Cleveland team shares some further info on strep throat below, so keep reading!

What Is Strep Throat?

Strep throat is a bacterial infection caused by group A Streptococcus. It can be spread by inhaling respiratory droplets and touching your nose, face or mouth after coming in contact with the strep bacteria.

If you experience any of the symptoms that we’ve listed below alongside your sore throat, it’s possible that you have strep throat, and you should visit our AFC center within 48 hours to get the necessary treatment. If your medical provider does, indeed, believe you have strep, he or she will likely perform a rapid strep test to confirm a diagnosis.

Common Strep Throat Symptoms

  • A sudden fever, especially if it’s 101˚F or higher
  • A sore, red throat with white patches
  • A headache
  • Chills
  • A loss of appetite
  • Swollen lymph nodes in the neck
  • Trouble swallowing

How Serious Is Strep Throat?

Strep throat isn’t generally a large cause for concern, but if it’s left untreated, it can potentially cause life-altering side effects and complications.

If you test positive for strep throat and don’t get antibiotics to knock out the bacteria, you could face one or multiple of the problems that we’ve listed below.

Complications Caused By Untreated Strep Throat

  • Rheumatic fever—an autoimmune disease that may develop after a strep throat infection. It’s especially common among children ages 5–15, although older teens and adults may develop the disease.
  • Otitis media—when strep throat bacteria move into the inner ear and cause an ear infection. Bacteria in the inner ear can cause severe pain, dizziness and nausea.
  • Meningitis—occurs when the fluid surrounding the membranes of the brain and spinal cord become infected. In rare cases, meningitis can be fatal.
  • Pneumonia—when the bacteria that cause strep throat move into the lungs.
  • Toxic shock syndrome—in rare cases, the bacteria can enter the bloodstream. If the bacteria release toxins in multiple organs while in the bloodstream, it causes toxic shock syndrome, which can result in catastrophic organ failure.

Need a rapid strep test? No appointments are necessary at our AFC center, so don’t hesitate to stop by today!