According to WebMD, strep throat is a bacterial infection, not a virus. The bacteria infects the throat and tonsils, causing inflammation and a severe sore throat.
Streptococcal bacteria is what causes strep throat, notes WebMD. There are many different types of streptococcal bacteria, which is why some cases of strep throat are more serious than others. The symptoms of strep throat include pain while swallowing, swollen tonsils and lymph notes, yellow or white spots in the back of the throat and a temperature of 101 degrees Fahrenheit or higher. Strep throat is contagious, and medical intervention is necessary to treat the condition. Doctors generally treat strep throat with antibiotics.