Rapid Strep Throat Test
Now available at Barefoot Health Naturopathic Clinic for $25.00, this 5 minute test can prevent the use of antibiotics in a mis-diagnosis OR be used as an early detection if you suspect that members of your family may have strep throat.
Strep throat is caused by Group A Streptococcus bacteria. It is the most common bacterial infection of the throat. It is most common in children between age 5 and 15, although anyone can get it. It can be very contagious.
Symptoms may be mild or severe. You usually start to feel sick about 2 to 5 days after you come in contact with the bacteria.
Symptoms usually begin suddenly, and can include:
- Fever that begins suddenly and is often highest on the second day
- Red throat, sometimes with white patches
- Sore throat
- Headache, nausea, chills and general ill feeling
- Loss of appetite and abnormal taste in the mouth (often metallic)
- Swollen lymph nodes in the neck
- Difficulty swallowing
Some strains of strep throat can lead to a scarlet fever-like rash. This rash is thought to be an allergic reaction to toxins made by the strep bacteria.
What you should know about sore throats:
Most sore throats are caused by viruses, not strep-related bacteria. Strep cannot be accurately diagnosed by symptoms or a physical exam alone. YOU MUST HAVE A THROAT SWAB TO DIAGNOSE STREP. Before beginning on antibiotics you should always have received the results of a positive throat swab. Many physicians will prescribe antibiotics “just in case”, however many of the other causes of sore throats may have the same symptoms. Viral sore throats will not respond to antibiotic treatment. One of the most common over-uses of antibiotics is the suspicion of Strep-throat without a lab test to verify that the strep bacteria is present. It is very important to avoid the over-use of antibiotics and the mis-diagnosis of strep-throat. You must be an advocate for yourself and your children in this regard and insist on a positive result before treating with antibiotics.
If you suspect Strep Throat
– Drop into the clinic at Barefoot Health and we will do a very simple throat swab to test for Strep A
– We use a special test called a RAPID STREP TEST
– We will have results for you in 5 minutes
– If you are positive for Strep Throat you may need to go on antibiotics and we will refer you to your physician
– If you are negative, we will make other suggestions for your sore throat including anti-viral herbs and home self care to support your body and your own immune response.
The following tips may help your sore throat feel better if your RAPID STREP TEST is negative:
- Drink warm liquids such as lemon tea or tea with honey.
- Gargle several times a day with warm salt water (1/2 tsp of salt in 1 cup water).
- Drink cold liquids or suck on popsicles.
- Suck on hard candies or throat lozenges. Young children should not be given such products because they can choke on them.
- A cool-mist vaporizer or humidifier can moisten and soothe a dry and painful throat.
Please see your naturopathic doctor if you suspect Strep Throat.