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Strep Throat Symptoms & Diagnosis

Symptoms

Symptoms of strep throat include:

  • Red, sore throat with white patches
  • Painful, difficult swallowing
  • Chills
  • Headache
  • Swollen, sore glands in the neck
  • Fever
  • Nausea and possibly vomiting
  • Decreased appetite
  • Rash
  • Muscle aches, especially in the neck, and abdominal pains, especially in younger children
  • Fatigue

Diagnosis

Your doctor will ask about your symptoms and medical history, and perform a physical exam. Tests to detect strep throat may be used and include:

  • Throat culture—Sample of throat secretions is cultured in the laboratory. It takes a few days to gets results.
  • Rapid antigen strep screen—The results are available in minutes. The test is based on detection of antigens; however, a negative test does not exclude the diagnosis of strep throat.
  • Rapid DNA test—Using DNA technology to detect strep throat, this test is as accurate as throat culture. The results are usually available in one day.

While only a, rapid DNA test or throat culture can confidently distinguish strep throats from those caused by virus infection, doctors make diagnosis and decide about treatment primarily by careful evaluation of symptoms and physical findings.

Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Copyright © 2019 EBSCO Publishing All rights reserved.

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