Rapid Strep Testing

Rapid Strep Testing At Connecticut Urgent Care CentersMany people get strep throat, it is very common, but it is not always easy to tell if it’s simply a sore throat or strep throat. Strep, which is actually streptococcal pharyngitis, and sore throats can be very similar. Strep is a bacterial infection that can affect the tonsils and the throat. A sore throat is usually a virus that can’t be treated with antibiotics. A quick strep test can tell the difference.

Testing For Strep

Testing is a quick procedure that can be done right here at Connecticut Urgent Care Centers, and we can get you nearly immediate results.

Strep is quite common between ages 5 and 15. Anyone who comes into contact with the saliva or nasal fluids of an infected person can get strep. It spreads rapidly in the same house and in schools.

Symptoms of Strep Throat

Symptoms will range from a mild to severe form. It can take from 2 to 5 days for the exposed person to become ill. It’s difficult to know where you were exposed because of this exposure time, unless you know you were around someone who had it or has it, it may be something you never really know.

Illness usually begins with a high fever that will bring on chillls after the initial onset of the bacterial infection. The throat will begin to hurt shortly thereafter if not sooner.

The throat is tender and red and sometimes will have white spots in it. It is painful to swallow and the neck glands are usually swollen and tender.

Other symptoms may also include

  • Loss of appetite
  • Headache
  • Nausea

Some strains of strep may also have a rash. It will start on the chest and move to the neck and eventually spread to the entire body. The skin may be dry and gritty like sandpaper. Not all cases will have these symptoms.

Treatment For Strep

If you’re positive for strep, you’ll be given a course of antibiotics. These are often given to help prevent an even more serious complication such as rheumatic fever.

The most common antibiotics given are amoxicilliin or penicillin. It’s important to take the entire prescribed course of antibiotics even if the symptoms appear to go away. If you stop the antibiotics too soon you could relapse and be even sicker.

While you await the antibiotics to take affect, here are more tips to help you treat the symptoms:

  • Drink warm drinks that have honey or lemon in them.
  • Gargle with warm slat water (one cup of water to 1/2 teaspoon of salt).
  • Suck on hard candies or throat drops to ease the pain. Avoid this for young children who could choke on them.
  • Use a humidifier to moisten the air and ease the dry throat and nasal passages.
  • Use a non-prescription pain reliever such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen if your doctor okays it.