In most cases, it is hard to tell
the difference between a viral sore throat and a strep throat based on a physical
But it is important to know if the sore throat is caused by strep bacteria. Then
antibiotics are needed to help prevent the complications that can happen with these
As a result, most people with the
above symptoms will get a strep test and throat culture to find out if it is an
infection caused by strep. This will be done using a throat swab in the healthcare
Quick tests, called rapid strep tests, may be done. This may immediately show as positive
for strep and antibiotics can be started. If it is negative, part of the throat swab
will be kept for a throat culture. This will further identify strep in 2 to 3 days.
Your healthcare provider will discuss the treatment plan with you based on the findings.