Your throat is swelling. You notice your temperature is rising, and you're experiencing considerable throat and tonsil pain. Your first thought may be COVID-19. But other conditions, namely strep throat, can be the likely culprit. But how do you find out? Strep throat testing in Atlanta with WestsideMed urgent care.
It's time to explore what a strep throat test involves, common strep symptoms, and what to do to feel better.
Strep throat, or streptococcal pharyngitis, is a bacterial infection that causes painful sore throat symptoms. The bacteria affect the throat and tonsils.
Children are much more susceptible to strep throat and adults who have regular exposure to children from school and daycare settings.
Strep bacteria quickly spread from person to person, especially among people living together.
A helpful way to determine if you need medical care and strep throat testing is monitoring for the most common strep throat symptoms. Some strep throat infection symptoms are:
If you suspect you're suffering from strep throat due to these symptoms, it's time to take a test.
To see if you have strep throat, you can take a test. Here's how a strep throat test works.
Before administering a test, doctors and healthcare professionals will ascertain if strep is likely by asking about severe symptoms. If professionals determine a patient needs a test, the process begins.
The strep test involves a simple swab of the throat. But there are two ways to determine if a patient has strep throat.
The rapid strep test involves a simple swab of the throat, then immediate testing with the sample.
Although helpful, the rapid strep test may not be positive, even with strep throat. In that case, it's a good idea for an urgent care doctor to take a throat culture.
With throat cultures, doctors take a swab and apply it to infected areas, like the tonsils. Doctors also swab around rashes and other reddened areas on the roof of the mouth and throat.
The throat culture is a much more comprehensive test, allowing for a more detailed and definitive result. While rapid strep throat tests are ideal for their simplicity and speed, they may not be enough. Medical professionals send the swab to the laboratory for results.
It's crucial to test for strep as soon as possible, as untreated strep can lead to further health complications like rheumatic fever. Other, less common complications from not seeking strep throat treatment
Seeking out a strep test early on is your best bet for stopping a sore throat and avoiding viral infection side effects.
Now that you know the result of the strep throat test, how do you treat strep throat?
Antibiotics are the treatment of choice, often clearing up strep throat in a matter of days.
If you begin a prescribed antibiotic regimen, you'll likely take amoxicillin or penicillin doses.
Other than feeling like your old self, taking antibiotics lowers the chances of spreading the strep bacteria to others. And, of course, antibiotics prevent strep throat from creating further complications like rheumatic fever.
WestsideMed urgent care offers strep tests in Atlanta, allowing patients to find out if they have strep. Don't allow this painful, contagious infection to harm your body.
Get a rapid test or throat culture to start your road to recovery and avoid complications like fever, sinus infections, and swollen lymph nodes.
For more information about strep throat and how to treat symptoms, visit WestsideMed and speak with healthcare professionals.