Strep throat is an infection of the throat and tonsils. Most of the sore throats are caused by viruses and bacteria, specifically, group A Streptococcus bacteria, in which the throat feel sore and scratchy.
While viral sore throats usually resolve on their own, strep throat should be treated with oral antibiotics. That reduces the risk of complications like rheumatic fever or other autoimmune diseases, which can damage the heart valves, kidneys, and joints.
Symptoms for strep throat: A sore throat is the main sign your child has strep. Colds and other viruses can also cause a sore throat. One way to tell the difference is that a virus will often cause a runny nose, too.