Which symptoms are exclusionary in the diagnosis of streptococcal pharyngitis (strep throat)?

Updated: Sep 07, 2018
  • Author: Zartash Zafar Khan, MD, FACP; Chief Editor: Pranatharthi Haran Chandrasekar, MBBS, MD  more...
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Answer

The most important historic information to obtain in the evaluation of a sore throat is whether other symptoms of upper respiratory tract infection are present or not. Children with streptococcal pharyngitis do not have cough, rhinorrhea, or symptoms of viral upper respiratory tract infection. Indeed, the diagnosis of streptococcal pharyngitis can effectively be ruled out on the basis of the clinical findings of marked coryza, hoarseness, cough, or conjunctivitis.

However, although these are important exclusionary criteria, the pediatrician must be aware that signs and symptoms of streptococcal pharyngitis may otherwise be nonspecific and that they vary widely depending on patient age, severity of the infection, and timing of the illness.


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