Our Dearborn Center Offers STREP Testing
A rapid STREP test detects group A streptococcus bacteria, which cause a sore throat and many other infections. The STREP test aids in making quick decisions about whether a child’s sore throat is caused by streptococcus or by other germs that don’t require antibiotic treatment.
Dearborn Center’s healthcare providers perform on-site rapid STREP tests on your child to determine whether or not group A streptococci are present.
Dearborn, Rapid STREP Test, Pros/Cons
The test provides a rapid clue about whether or not the child needs antibiotics. Professionals at our Dearborn Center may do a rapid STREP test if a child:
- ○ Has symptoms of a sore throat without having typical symptoms of viral infection, such as a runny nose, sneezing, watery eyes, etc.
- ○ Has a sore throat and a history of exposure to a known case of streptococcal sore throat, or there are many strep throat cases in the community.
The STREP test involves taking a special swab from the back of the throat and tonsils after holding down the tongue with a tongue depressor. Sometimes, healthcare providers take two swabs by lightly brushing the cotton swab over the back of the throat, especially around the tonsils. The second swab can then be sent for a throat culture if a rapid STREP test is negative but symptoms are typical of a strep infection. There are certain preliminary requisites for the test that our healthcare provider at Dearborn makes sure of, that include:
- ○ Be sure your child hasn’t taken any antibiotics recently.
- ○ Don’t make your child use mouthwash before the test.
As these may affect the test result and may give a false result. Swabbing, if done by professional hands, takes only a few seconds. It is normal to experience some discomfort after swabbing or gagging. Test results are available in about 15 minutes.
A positive STREP test indicates a streptococcal bacterial infection, which helps the doctor to prescribe antibiotics that are essential for the bacterial sore throat.
This not only shortens the course of a sore throat but also prevents many post-streptococcal complications. The negative result, however, needs a doctor to confirm it through a throat culture.
Although a rapid STREP test gives you the benefit of immediate results, it’s not that accurate. A throat culture is then done in cases of ambiguity; it takes 2-3 days for its result to come back but is more reliable than the STREP test.
When should I bring my child for the STREP test?
If not treated promptly, strep throat can worsen and lead to several complications, such as rheumatic fever or kidney inflammation.
If your child is having a sore throat, keep in mind certain red flags that are typical of strep throat:
○ Fever (101 degrees or more) with chills
○ Swollen and painful tonsils with yellow or white spots
○ Nausea or loss of appetite
Also, if the symptoms don’t improve within 24 to 48 hours after starting medicine, get any sore throat examined by a doctor to rule out strep throat. After the first few days of starting antibiotics, the child continues to spread the infection, which can be avoided by staying home from work or school.
We offer convenient and cost-effective services at our Dearborn Center while also focusing on exceptional patient care. Stay safe and get your child’s STREP test done by our professionals.