Strep tests

Strep throat is caused by a highly contagious bacterial infection known as Streptococcus Pyogenes. The infection makes your throat extremely sore, with extremely painful swallowing. If you have strep throat, antibiotics are usually used to alleviate the infection as fast as possible, to prevent worsening of symptoms, and to prevent complications. Strep throat is one of the most common problems treated at Encino Commons Urgent Care. Your sore throat could be a minor setback, or it could be a sign of a more serious illness like strep throat. It’s a bacterial infection that leads to uncomfortable throat pain and difficulty swallowing. Because it easily spreads in groups, strep throat commonly occurs in children and is more prevalent from late fall until early spring. At Encino Commons, we’re dedicated to getting you the right information and getting you diagnosed correctly. In very rare cases, a sore throat can be considered an emergency. If you or anyone you know experiences difficulty breathing or significant difficulty swallowing, call 911 immediately. In non emergent cases, Encino Commons is here to treat you seven days a week with no appointment necessary.


What Is Strep Throat?


Strep throat is a bacterial infection that affects the throat and tonsils, and symptoms can make it’s victims feel terrible. Anyone can contract strep throat, but its most common in children because their immune systems aren’t fully developed. People who contract strep throat can experience symptoms such as:


  • Sore throat 

  • Nausea, vomiting, or stomach pain 

  • Bright red rash covering the body

  • Body aches and chills

  • Painful swallowing

  • Red and swollen tonsils

  • Tiny red spots at the back of the throat

  • Tender, swollen lymph nodes in the neck 

  • Fever or headache


In most cases, strep throat, though extremely painful, is harmless and can be easily treated. In some severe cases, you might encounter fever, a loss of appetite, or difficulty swallowing or breathing. If this is the case, contact 911 immediately. 

How Do You Diagnose Strep Throat?


Our Encino Commons Urgent Care center is equipped to test for strep. Many of the symptoms above can be caused by viral infections and other illnesses. That’s why our medical professionals continue to conduct efficient tests to confirm strep. Results times may vary but most are same day. We will contact you as soon as we receive your results.


There are two tests used to diagnose strep:


1. Rapid antigen test – This is usually the first test performed because it can detect strep in minutes. Your physician or nurse practitioner will swab your throat and test the swab to see if any antigens are present. A positive test means that you have strep throat. 


2. Throat culture – If the rapid antigen test came back negative and strep is still suspected, your physician or nurse practitioner may perform a throat culture. The back of the throat and tonsils are swabbed and the sample is then sent to a lab to be cultured and tested for bacteria. 


Recovering From Strep Throat


If strep throat is confirmed, your physician or nurse practitioner will recommend treatment and prescribe medication to begin right away. Because it is a bacterial infection, you will most likely be prescribed antibiotics. Please allow 24 hours after you’ve started your antibiotics before coming in contact with other people; strep throat is highly contagious. 


In addition to taking antibiotics, here are some at-home remedies that can get you better fast and back to regular life:


  • Get plenty of rest and drink lots of fluids.

  • Eat soft, cold foods to soothe your throat.

  • Gargle a glass of warm salt water several times a day. 


The only way to know for sure that you have strep throat is to have a medical professional test for strep. If you think you might have strep, visit Encino Commons Urgent Care to get you properly diagnosed and on a treatment plan.

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