What is the Strep A Test ?
Strep A, also known as group A strep, is a type of bacteria that causes sore throats and other infections.
Strep throat is an infection that affects the throat and tonsils.
The infection is transmitted from person to person through coughing or sneezing. While streptococcal throat infections can occur at any age, it is most common in children aged 5 to 15 years.
Strep throat can be easily treated with antibiotics. But if left untreated, streptococcal throat can lead to serious complications. Rheumatic fever is one of them.
What Is the Strep A Test Used For ?
The strep A test is mostly used to find out whether a sore throat and other symptoms are caused by strep throat or a viral infection. Strep throat needs to be treated with antibiotics to prevent complications. Most sore throats are caused by viruses.
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How is the Strep A Test Performed ?
You will be asked to tilt your head back and open your mouth as wide as possible.
Your healthcare provider will use a tongue depressor to depress your tongue.
He or she will use a special cotton swab to take a sample from the back of your throat and tonsils.
The sample can be used to do a rapid strep test at the supplier's office. Sometimes the sample is sent to a lab.
Your provider can take a second sample and send it to a laboratory for throat culture if needed.
Why You Might Need the Strep A Test
Sudden and severe sore throat
Pain or difficulty swallowing
101° or more fever
swollen lymph nodes
Your provider may order a strep A test if you or your child has a hard, red rash that starts on the face and spreads to another part of the body.