If you or your child have symptoms of strep throat, you may want to get tested right away. That way, you can start treatment and avoid being exposed to the bacteria that cause it.

Strep throat is caused by a bacteria called group A streptococcus (also known as Streptococcus pyogenes). It spreads through contact with droplets that come off an infected person when they talk, cough, or sneeze.

Symptoms

Strep throat is caused by the bacteria group A streptococcus. It’s contagious through tiny droplets that come off an infected person’s cough or sneeze.

Your health care provider may order a strep test if you have symptoms such as a sore throat, difficulty swallowing, and fever. Symptoms can also include a rough, red rash that spreads to other parts of your body.

If you’re diagnosed with strep throat, your doctor may prescribe antibiotics to treat the infection. Antibiotics kill the bacteria that cause strep throat and can help make the symptoms go away faster.

A rapid strep test can be done in your doctor’s office to check for strep throat during your visit. During this procedure, your provider inserts a long, sterile swab in your mouth and rubs it over your tonsils to collect a sample of mucous.

Treatment

Strep throat is a very common, potentially serious infection caused by bacteria called group A streptococcus. It can cause a fever, swollen glands, and redness in the throat.

If you have strep throat, your doctor may prescribe antibiotics to kill the germs and help prevent them from spreading. Antibiotics can also prevent rheumatic fever and other complications of untreated strep throat.

Your doctor will check your throat to see if strep is present, and they will also do a test called a throat culture. A sample of your throat’s mucous is swabbed, and then sent to a lab for testing (throat culture).

If the rapid test results are positive, you can start treatment right away. It typically takes 10-20 minutes to get results.

Testing Options

If you think you have strep throat, your healthcare provider can take a sample from your mouth or throat. This procedure is quick and easy.

Your doctor will rub a cotton swab against the back of your throat. This takes just a second or two, and may make you feel a brief gagging sensation.

Once the cotton swab is collected, it will be sent to a lab for testing. This process will take a few days to receive the results, but it can be helpful in helping your healthcare provider determine whether you have an infection or not.

A rapid antigen detection test (RADT) can detect group A strep proteins in the swab sample, and it can be done in the office in about 10-20 minutes. If the RADT is positive, you can get antibiotics right away, which will help you start feeling better.

Convenience

The quickest and most convenient way to get a strep test is through an urgent care clinic. Many of these facilities accept walk-in visits and are open longer than a doctor’s office.

Getting a strep test with your health insurance is typically covered by the copay and lab fees. However, it can also be expensive without insurance, especially if your visit requires additional tests such as throat cultures and rapid strep testing.

If you have strep throat, it is important to get tested and receive treatment immediately. This is because strep throat can be life-threatening.

To treat strep throat, your doctor will prescribe antibiotics. Strep throat is caused by group A streptococcus bacteria, which can cause fever, sore throat and tender neck glands. If left untreated, strep throat can lead to complications such as rheumatic fever and scarlet fever. Patients of all ages must receive treatment to prevent these infections.

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