Our providers treat strep throat at Phoenix Family Medical Clinic.
Strep throat is a bacterial infection of the tissues in the back of the throat (pharynx) and the tonsils or adenoids. The tissues become irritated and inflamed, causing a sudden, severe sore throat.
Symptoms of strep throat include a sore throat with:
- Fever of 101°F (38.3°C) or higher.
- Pain and difficulty swallowing.
- White or yellow spots or coating on the throat and tonsils.
- Swollen lymph nodes in the neck.
In children, strep throat may also cause body aches, headache, stomachache, nausea, vomiting, or listlessness. Strep throat usually does not occur with cold symptoms, such as sneezing, runny or stuffy nose, or cough.
Even though strep throat usually goes away on its own in a few days, it is treated with antibiotics. Antibiotics may not make you well faster. But they shorten the time you are able to spread the disease to others. Antibiotics also lower the risk of the infection spreading to other parts of your body.
A throat culture may be done to:
- Find the cause of a sore throat. Most sore throat infections are caused by a virus. A throat culture shows the difference between a bacterial infection and a viral infection. Finding the organism that is causing the infection can guide treatment.
- Check a person who may not have any symptoms of infection but who carries bacteria that can spread to others. This person is called a carrier.
How To Prepare
You do not need to do anything before you have this test. Tell your doctor if you have recently taken any antibiotics.
Rapid strep test results are ready in 10 to 15 minutes. This test is only for bacterial infections caused by strep bacteria.
Rapid strep test
Normal (negative results): No strep bacteria are present. A throat culture may be recommended.
Abnormal (positive results): Strep bacteria are present. This means you have strep throat. Antibiotics can be started immediately.