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Throat anatomy
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Throat swabs


Definition:

A streptococcal screen is a test to detect group A streptococcus, the most common cause of strep throat .



Alternative Names:

Rapid strep test



How the test is performed:

The test requires a throat swab. It takes about 7 minutes. The swab is tested to identify group A streptococcus.



How to prepare for the test:

There is no special preparation. Inform the health care provider if you are taking, or have recently taken, antibiotics.



How the test will feel:

Your throat will be swabbed in the area of the tonsils. This may make you gag.



Why the test is performed:

The test is performed when the doctor suspects strep throat or if you have symptoms of pharyngitis (sore throat).



Normal Values:

Group A streptococcus is not present.



What abnormal results mean:

Group A streptococcus is present (confirms strep throat).



What the risks are:

There are no risks.



Special considerations:

This test screens for the group A streptococcus organism only and will not detect other causes of sore throat.




Review Date: 9/3/2008
Reviewed By: D. Scott Smith, M.D., MSc, DTM&H, Chief of Infectious Disease & Geographic Medicine, Kaiser Redwood City, CA & Adjunct Assistant Professor, Stanford University.  Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.

The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.
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Wentworth-Douglass Hospital
789 Central Avenue, Dover, NH 03820
Phone: (603) 742-5252
Toll free: 1 (877) 201-7100