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Virginia Beach Strep Test

Strep Test

Strep Test

Rapid Testing And Treatment

Strep throat is a bacterial infection of the throat and tonsils that can give you similar symptoms similar to a common cold: sore throats, fever, coughing, etc. While strep throat is a common illness, especially among children, it can become complicated if left untreated properly. An AFC Princess Anne Virginia Beach provider cannot tell if you have strep throat just by looking at your throat. Only a test or throat culture can determine if strep is the cause of your sore throat symptoms.

Symptoms Of Strep Throat

A sore throat is the main sign you or your child has strep. With strep, the sore throat comes on quickly and is more likely to cause these other symptoms as well:

  • A fever of 101 F or higher
  • Red, swollen tonsils
  • Pain when you swallow
  • Swollen and/or tender lymph nodes at the front of your neck
  • White patches in the throat
  • Tiny red spots on the roof of the mouth
  • Appetite loss
  • Stomachache
  • Headache
  • Body aches
  • Nausea, vomiting
  • Loss of appetite
  • Rash

Call your doctor if you or a child in your care has these symptoms.

Colds and other viruses can also cause a sore throat. If you have a cough or runny nose, it is most likely a virus and NOT strep throat.

Strep Throat Causes

Strep throat spreads through close contact. You can infect yourself if you touch something a person with strep has coughed or sneezed upon and then brush your eyes, mouth, or nose with your hand. You can also get sick if you share a glass or other personal item with someone who has strep. Strep is most common in children and teens. Adults sometimes get it too.

Strep Throat Diagnosis

Your AFC Princess Anne Virginia Beach provider will ask about your symptoms. The only sure way to tell strep from viruses that cause a sore throat is with a test. There are two kinds:

  • Rapid strep test: It can identify a case in just a few minutes. The doctor will gently hold down your tongue with a depressor. Then, they will swab the back of the throat. You'll get the results in 20 minutes or less.
    • If the test is positive for strep, the doctor will prescribe antibiotics to treat it.
    • If the test is negative for strep, the doctor might send the sample to a lab for a follow-up that takes longer.
  • Throat culture: The doctor will rub a swab over the throat and tonsils to be sent to the lab. If your child has strep throat, streptococci bacteria will grow in it. It usually takes about 2 days to get results from a throat culture. It can confirm whether you have strep throat or not.

Strep Throat Treatment

If you have strep throat, our AFC Princess Anne Virginia Beach provider will prescribe antibiotics to kill the bacteria that cause the infection. Most treatments last for about 10 days. The medicine can make your child's symptoms go away faster and help prevent complications. Make sure you finish the antibiotics. Stopping the medicine too early can leave some bacteria alive. Over-the-counter medications such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen can ease the pain of strep throat and lower fever.

If the strep test is negative, a virus likely caused the sore throat. You do not need antibiotics because these medications don't work on viruses.

Strep Throat Care At Home

There are a number of things you can do at home to feel more comfortable:

  • Gargle with saltwater.
  • Throat lozenges or hard candy.
  • Throw out your toothbrush and use a new one.
  • Drink warm liquids such as tea and broth.
  • Drink plenty of water to prevent dehydration.
  • Suck on something cold such as an ice pop or ice chips.
  • Choose soft foods that are easy to swallow such as soups, applesauce, or oatmeal.
  • Honey can help ease pain and inflammation.
  • Use a humidifier and/or saline nasal sprays to keep your airways moist.
  • Get lots of rest so that your body can recover from the infection.

Strep Throat Prevention

AFC Princess Anne Virginia Beach recommends you stay home until the fever is gone and you have been taking the antibiotic for at least 24 hours. Other tips:

  • Don't share cups, dishes, forks, or other personal items with someone who's sick.
  • Cover your mouth with a tissue or sleeve whenever they cough or sneeze.
  • Wash hands or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer many times daily.

Strep Throat Complications

Better diagnosis and treatment have made strep complications rare. However, untreated strep can cause serious issues, such as:

  • Swollen lymph nodes in the neck
  • Sinus infections
  • Ear infections
  • Rheumatic fever
  • Abscess around the tonsils or behind the throat.
  • Inflammatory response in different parts of your body, including:
    • Scarlet fever, a red rash that can be small tiny pinpricks that are hard to see or intense redness on the body
    • Rheumatic fever, which can damage the heart, brain, and joints
    • Kidney disease called glomerulonephritis
    • Poststreptococcal reactive arthritis, which is inflammation in your joints

Did you know we have a complex in-house lab for our testing services? This means faster more accurate results! This also reduces costs and fees for you. At AFC Urgent Care Princess Anne Virginia Beach our mission is to provide the best healthcare possible in a kind and caring environment, in an economical manner, while respecting the rights of all of our patients, at times and locations convenient to the patient.

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