How to Tell Whether My Sore Throat Is COVID-19 or Not

person with a cold

You should know that sore throat is a pretty common symptom and that anybody can experience it.

A sore throat can be an illness itself or a symptom of an underlying illness that can range from non-serious to more life-threatening conditions.

You may be feeling a little nervous right now because of the prevalence of COVID-19 as sore throat is one of its common symptoms. What do you do when you get a sore throat and when do you need to worry about having one? 

To help you understand more about what you are experiencing right now, here are the things you need to check to determine whether your sore throat is a symptom of COVID-19 or not.

Going Down with a Cold

If you have a sore throat, it is likely that you have a cold. The reason is that it is almost always a sign of a cold.

The first thing that you can do is to check if you have been feeling any other symptoms of a cold. If you have been experiencing a runny nose, sneezing, itchy eyes, maybe a stuffy nose, and a sore throat, then it is possible that you have a cold.

Now if your sore throat lasts more than a week, it is imperative to contact your doctor immediately, especially if you start to develop other mild symptoms that you commonly associate with a common cold. 

You can also get tested for COVID-19. It is important because the symptoms of the virus that cause common colds and COVID-19 are the same: Coronavirus. And you will likely get the same symptoms.

So, don’t take your colds and sore throat lightly because when you’re not sure that it’s a cold or mild symptom of COVID-19, you may be spreading the virus that can also put others at risk.

Other Causes of Sore Throat

Sore throats can happen for a lot of reasons. It can be a result of a common cold or an illness that makes the throat sore or get inflamed, or it can be something else.

Strep throat, which is caused by the bacteria, Streptococcus pyogenes can cause a sore throat. At the same time, adenovirus, which is virus, can cause cold-like symptoms, bronchitis, pneumonia, and even sore throat.

The other cause of sore throat is the common flu. This happens when you have the influenza virus.

A sore throat can also be caused by occupational hazards like chemicals and fumes. 

When to See a Doctor 

If your sore throat lasts more than a week, you need to see a doctor immediately. You should also see your doctor if:

  • You have red or white patches in the back of your throat
  • You have trouble swallowing
  • Your sore throat does not go away
  • Your sore throat is accompanied by a fever, shortness of breath, or a headache
  • You have white spots in your mouth or on the roof of your mouth
  • You have a rash
  • You have a sinus infection along with your sore throat
  • You have ear pain along with a sore throat
  • Your sore throat is accompanied by diarrhea
  • You have yellow or green phlegm or pus from your nose
  • You have a sore throat accompanied by fever
  • You have a sore throat accompanied by other symptoms that suggest that you have a serious condition

While you can always research about your symptoms on the internet, it is not a great idea to self-diagnose yourself. It is always best to talk to your physician if you have a sore throat and if you have any questions regarding your overall health and your symptoms.


Sore throat can be caused by a lot of reasons, ranging from non-serious causes to life-threatening ones. It can be a symptom of a common cold or can be a symptom of a much more serious illness, which is COVID-19. With this in mind, make sure that you contact your physician right away if you think your sore throat is progressing or if you are experiencing more symptoms by the day.

Agile Urgent Care offers a full-service medical facility that provides affordable and convenient medical services, including PCR and Rapid Testing for COVID-19. If you’re experiencing any symptoms, it is always better to get tested. Schedule an appointment today!

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