You’ll also get a fever and a general feeling of malaise with strep, says Dr. Cloonan. But the intense pain in your throat along with redness and, sometimes, white spots on your tonsils distinguish this infection from the flu. “Many viruses that cause the common cold can cause strep throat as well,” says Dr. Cloonan. If you think you may have strep throat, see your doctor for testing and, if it’s positive, a prescription for antibiotics. Check out these strep throat symptoms you should never ignore.