Strep is likely causing a sore throat if the pain comes on suddenly, it hurts to swallow and a person is running a fever. Patients with a sore throat from a virus may also have a cough, runny nose, a hoarse voice and mouth sores.
The new guidelines recommend doctors do a test to confirm strep is the culprit before giving antibiotics.
There are also some simple solutions to soothe a sore throat. Doctors suggest over-the-counter pain relievers like acetaminophen and ibuprofen, warm fluids like tea with honey, throat lozenges, and plenty of rest.
The new guidelines also recommend against removing children's tonsils just because they suffer from recurring throat infections. Experts say in most cases, surgery's not worth the risk.