Affordable Strep Test in Sugar Land, TX

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    FAQ

    Strep Test

    What is a strep throat?

    Strep throat is a bacterial infection caused by a bacteria known as Group A streptococcus. Strep throat is highly contagious, especially among children. Common symptoms of strep throat include:


    • A sudden sore throat
    • Pain when swallowing
    • Fever
    • Red tonsils with white spots
    • Swollen lymph glands
    • Headache/ body aches

    Children between the ages of 5-15 are most at risk for this bacterial infection. However, adults who have school-age children or work with school-age children may experience infection.

    Strep throat does not cause a cough. A sore throat that is accompanied by coughing usually indicates a viral infection that is not strep throat.

    If left untreated, strep throat can lead to problems such as kidney irritation or rheumatic fever.

    What is a strep test?

    Strep throat is diagnosed through a culture test. The two common forms of strep throat testing are detailed below:

    - Rapid strep test: A sample of mucus and saliva will be taken from the back of the throat. This sample will be tested for antigens that are produced by the body to combat strep throat. This test usually takes around 10-20 minutes to produce a diagnosis.

    - Throat culture test: A throat culture test is commonly performed if a rapid test comes back negative (no strep throat). A throat culture test uses a similar sample of fluid from the throat. After the sample has been collected, it is studied for 24-48 hours to check whether or not the bacteria begins to grow. This takes longer to produce results than a rapid strep test, but can more definitively diagnose strep throat.

    How do I prepare for a strep throat test?

    A strep throat test requires no specific preparation. If your child is undergoing testing, you may want to warn them about the throat swab used to collect the sample.

    What happens during a strep test?

    Strep tests are routinely performed at primary care clinics. You or your child will be asked to sit on the exam table with your head tilted back. Your doctor will hold down your tongue using a compressor (usually a wooden stick). They will then swab the back of your throat with a small cotton swab to collect a sample of throat fluid. This is the sample that is tested for strep antigens or bacterial culture. You may experience some discomfort - even a gag reflex - as the throat is swabbed, but this procedure takes only a second or two.

    After the throat is swabbed, the culture will be sent to the laboratory for testing. In most cases, a rapid strep test will be performed first. You may be asked to stay in the clinic while this is done. If a rapid strep test comes back positive (the presence of strep bacteria is detected), your doctor can diagnose strep throat and begin treatment. If the test comes back negative, but your doctor suspects that you do, in fact, have strep throat, they may order a throat culture test to definitively diagnose the condition. In this case, you will get the results from your test after 24-48 hours.

    Neither form of strep test requires sedation, so no recovery is needed after the appointment.

    How is strep throat treated?

    Antibiotics are the most common form of treatment for strep throat. These medications minimize the duration and intensity of symptoms and the risk of complications related to strep throat (such as rheumatic fever). By killing the bacteria, antibiotics also help ensure that the infection is not spread to others.

    You or your child should feel better in a day or two after starting therapy. If you haven't seen any improvement after taking antibiotics for 48 hours, contact your doctor.

    Children who are feeling well and do not have a fever can generally return to school or child care after they are no longer infectious, which is usually 24 hours after starting treatment. Do not stop taking antibiotics, even if you are feeling better. If you stop too soon, the infection could recur and cause serious complications such as rheumatic fever or kidney inflammation.

    In addition to antibiotics, pain relievers such as ibuprofen can help reduce throat pain.