What Causes Strep Throat?
While you may have numerous sore throats when you have a cold or influenza, a strep throat is a more serious health issue. Approximately 3 million individuals in the United States have strep throat each year. They should have a throat culture test to begin treatment for the condition right away. Strep throat is transmitted through direct contact with someone else that has the condition, and this is why this type of health issue is common in schools. Children, teenagers, and young adults are more likely to have strep throat than others. It is also transmitted by airborne droplets or saliva, but it can resemble other conditions such as tonsillitis or mononucleosis.
What Is the Rapid Strep Throat Test?
This condition is treatable with antibiotics, but a physician may not want to prescribe this type of medication frequently because it can lead to having resistant bacteria inside your body. The rapid strep throat test involves collecting a specimen from the throat, tonsils, tongue, or soft oral tissues. This is the most popular procedure so that you can have the results right away. It is important to have this test when you have strep throat because this medical issue can have complications from developing additional infections in other regions of the body.
How Does a Physician Perform a Strep Throat Test?
A long cotton swab is inserted into the mouth to collect the pus or saliva that contains the strep throat pathogens. The sample is viewed immediately by a laboratory technician to find the pathogen that causes strep throat. This testing procedure is completed within 20 minutes, and a physician can provide the antibiotic prescription and other medications immediately. You will likely take antibiotics for 10 days to destroy the bacterial infection that causes strep throat.
However, there are other ways to help you feel better, including:
- Drinking cool liquids or sucking on ice chips
- Using a humidifier or vaporizer
- Sleeping as much as possible
- Consuming soft foods to prevent throat pain
- Gargling with an antiseptic mouthwash
- Taking over-the-counter pain relievers
Why Should You Have Testing for Strep Throat?
While you can overcome most types of sore throats easily, strep throat can lead to complications that include:
- Rheumatic fever
- Toxic shock syndrome
- Organ failure
- Widespread body infection
- Heart valve damage
- Kidney inflammation
- Joint pain
Come into WellCare
If you feel that you may have strep throat, don’t hesitate but come into WellCare Urgent Care center right away. We will test for strep throat in order to come up with a treatment plan. Contact our urgent care center for additional information about strep throat testing. We accept walk-ins at our Cascade and Leonard offices, or you can book a same-day appointment online.