A doctor treats a young girl to determine if she has strep throat

Strep Throat: Symptoms, Treatment, Testing, and When to Get Help

Strep throat is rising throughout New Jersey and Pennsylvania. To keep your family healthy, it is important to know some basic information.

Strep throat (also known as group A Streptococcus) is a common bacterial infection that affects the throat and tonsils. This infection often leads to a severe sore throat, pain while swallowing, and swollen glands. This article will discuss the symptoms, treatment options, testing procedures, and when to seek help.

Strep Throat Symptoms

Common symptoms include the following:

  • Sore throat
  • Pain when swallowing
  • Swollen tonsils with white or yellow spots
  • Red and swollen tonsils and glands
  • Fever above 100.4°F
  • Headache
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Body aches

These symptoms typically come on rapidly. It is unlikely that any one patient will experience all of these symptoms. We recommend coming in for a test if you experience any of these symptoms listed above.

Strep Throat Testing

A provider performs a strep throat test on a little girl while her mother holds her

To diagnose strep throat, a provider or medical assistant will perform either a rapid strep test or a throat culture. The rapid test involves swabbing the back of the throat and analyzing the swab for the presence of streptococcus bacteria. A throat culture is a more in-depth test that involves growing bacteria from a throat swab in a laboratory to determine the specific type of bacteria causing the infection.

At Live Urgent Care, we offer rapid strep throat testing and RT-PCR testing. Both options include a throat swab, but PCR testing offers remarkable accuracy and provides results in as little as one hour.

Strep Throat Treatment

A young girl takes medication to help alleviate her strep throat symptoms

Strep throat is treated with antibiotics, which can help to reduce the symptoms and speed up the recovery process. Commonly prescribed antibiotics include penicillin, amoxicillin, and azithromycin. In severe cases, intravenous antibiotics may be required.

In addition to antibiotics, there are simple methods that can help alleviate your symptoms. Over-the-counter pain relievers such as ibuprofen and acetaminophen can help to relieve pain and reduce fever. Additionally, gargling with warm salt water can help soothe a sore throat.

When to Get Treatment

If you experience any of the symptoms of strep throat, it is important to see a doctor as soon as possible. Early treatment can help to reduce the severity of symptoms and prevent complications. Additionally, the sooner you receive a positive strep test, the sooner you can limit exposure to those around you.

At Live Urgent Care, we offer walk in treatment at any of our urgent care clinics. Find a location near you and book an appointment online to start your treatment today.

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