• 02088522282

Strep A Testing


Strep A Testing

Rapid Strep A Test (£15)
What is a strep A test?
Strep A, also known as group A strep, is a type of bacteria that causes strep throat and other infections. Strep throat is an infection that affects the throat and tonsils. The infection is spread from person to person through coughing or sneezing. While you can get strep throat at any age, it's most common in children 5 to 15 years old.

Strep throat can be easily treated with antibiotics. But left untreated, strep throat can lead to serious complications. These include rheumatic fever, a disease that can damage the heart and joints, and glomerulonephritis, a type of kidney disease.

Strep A tests check for strep A infections. 

Rapid strep test (£15) . This test looks for antigens to strep A. Antigens are substances that cause an immune response. A rapid strep test can provide results in 10–20 minutes. If a rapid test is negative, but your provider thinks you or your child has strep throat, he or she may order a throat culture.

What is it used for?
A strep A test is most often used to find out if a sore throat and other symptoms are being caused by strep throat or by a viral infection. Strep throat needs to be treated with antibiotics to prevent complications. Most sore throats are caused by viruses. Antibiotics don't work on viral infections. Viral sore throats usually go away on their own.

Why do I need a strep A test?
Your health care provider may order a strep A test if you or your child has symptoms of strep throat. These include:

A sudden and severe sore throat
Pain or difficulty swallowing
Fever of 38°C or more
Swollen lymph nodes
Your provider may also order a strep A test if you or your child has a rough, red rash that starts on the face and spreads to another part of the body. This type of rash is a sign of scarlet fever, an illness that can happen a few days after you've been infected with strep A. Like strep throat, scarlet fever is easily treated with antibiotics.

If you have symptoms such as a cough or runny nose along with your sore throat, it's more likely that you have a viral infection rather than strep throat.

What happens during a strep A test?
A rapid test and a throat culture are done in the same way. During the procedure:

You will be asked to tilt your head back and open your mouth as wide as possible.
Your health care provider will use a tongue depressor to hold down your tongue.
He or she will use a special swab to take a sample from the back of your throat and tonsils.
The sample may be used to do a rapid strep test in the provider's office
Your provider may take a second sample and send it to a lab for a throat culture if necessary.
Will I need to do anything to prepare for the test?
You don't any special preparations for a rapid strep test or a throat culture.

Are there any risks to the test?
There is no risk to having swab tests, but they may cause slight discomfort and/or gagging.

What do the results mean?
If you or your child has a positive result on a rapid strep test, it means you have strep throat or another strep A infection. No further testing will be needed.

If you or your child was diagnosed with strep throat, you will need to take antibiotics. Most often you will need to take them for 10 days. After a day or two of taking the medicine, you or your child should start to feel better. Most people are no longer contagious after taking antibiotics for 24 hours. But it's important to take all the medicine as prescribed. Stopping early can lead to rheumatic fever or other serious complications.

If you have questions about your results or your child's results, talk to your health care provider.