A health care practitioner can determine if you have strep by a throat culture where they swab the back of your throat. There are two types of throat cultures. One can determine strep throat in 15 minutes and the second type of culture takes 24-48 hours. A doctor may order a second culture if your first culture is inconclusive.
Strep throat treatment includes a ten-day course of antibiotics (amoxicillin or penicillin). It is recommended to take the full course of antibiotics even if your symptoms pass. If strep throat is not treated you may run the risk developing other health complications like sinusitis, ear infections, scarlet fever, etc.
A person infected with strep throat should not return to school or work until they have taken medication for a full 24 hours.
If you have a runny nose, cough and hoarseness, you may not have strep throat.