Strep Throat Test Q&A
Do you have tender lymph nodes, painful tonsils, fever, and painful swallowing? Strep throat caused by Bacteria produces soreness and scratchiness of the throat and commonly occurs in children. Strep throat is contagious someone who has strep throat can transfer it to others by coming into close contact with them. Immediate Care of Oklahoma can help you if you think you have strep throat. We have lab testing available to properly diagnose and quickly treat strep. For more information, contact us and schedule an appointment online. We have convenient locations in West Moore OK, Norman (HealthPlex) OK, Norman (24th) OK, Edmond OK, Yukon OK, I-240 & Sooner RD OK, Tecumseh OK
Table of Contents:
What are the common symptoms of strep throat?
How do they test you for strep throat?
Is strep throat testing important?
Can a doctor tell if you have strep without a test?
Strep throat, caused by group A streptococcus bacteria is quite worrisome. Strep throat is highly contagious and can cause serious medical problems if left untreated, including kidney inflammation and rheumatic fever. Strep throat can impact people of all ages but is more common in people between the ages of 5 to 15. Strep throat most often occurs in the late fall and early spring, when people are more likely to be indoors.
Strep throat can be passed easily between people by sharing drinking glasses, eating utensils, toys, and other things that are touched and shared. Because strep is so contagious and potentially serious, early diagnosis and treatment are important. If you have the following symptoms, getting tested for strep is highly recommended.
The signs and symptoms of strep throat are:
– Throat pain that comes on quickly
– Painful swallowing
– Swollen and red tonsils that can have white streaks of pus or white patches
– Tiny red spots on the roof of the mouth toward the back
– Swollen and tender lymph nodes in the neck
– Nausea or vomiting, especially in young children
– Body aches
It is possible that your child may exhibit many of these symptoms and not have strep throat. These symptoms are also indicators of other viral infections and other illnesses. That is why your doctor will test specifically for strep throat.
Testing for strep throat starts with a throat swab and then testing the swab. This can quickly show if group A strep bacteria are present. If the test comes up positive the doctor will prescribe antibiotics. If the test comes up negative and the doctor suspects that it is strep throat, a culture swab can be taken.
The throat culture will take more time to determine if group A strep bacteria are present. This takes more time to get results but it can find infections that the rapid test will miss. The culture is important for testing children and teens since they are more susceptible to the complication of rheumatic fever. It is normally not necessary to do a throat culture on adults as they are not generally at risk of getting rheumatic fever.
Strep throat testing is important. The group A strep bacteria is highly contagious and easily infects others through close contact and sharing items. If strep is left untreated complications can occur.
The strep bacteria can infect other parts of the body. Complications can be:
– Abscesses in the neck or around the tonsils
– Swollen lymph nodes in the neck
– Sinus infections
– Ear infections
– Rheumatic fever ( a disease that damage the heart, joints, skin, and brain)
– Post-streptococcal glomerulonephritis ( a kidney disease)
While these complications are rare, they can be very serious, especially in children 15 and under.
Some people think that you can tell if a person has strep throat just by looking at the throat and identifying the symptoms. But this is a common misperception. A doctor or a parent cannot tell whether a child has strep throat just by looking. Other throat infections can look the same, it is only with a test that the strep infection can be identified.
To diagnose strep throat, your doctor will ask about the history of the symptoms and do a quick physical exam. They will look at the back of the throat, and the doctor may take a throat swab. The temperature will be taken and lymph nodes checked to see if they are enlarged. Your doctor may also check for a rash. If the symptoms and appearance suggest that it is strep throat, your doctor will do a swab to confirm that it is.
We are available for walk-ins or you can call and make an appointment. We serve patients from West Moore OK, Norman (HealthPlex) OK, Norman (24th) OK, Edmond OK, Yukon OK, I-240 & Sooner RD OK, Tecumseh OK, and Bethany OK.
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