Your child woke up complaining of a scratchy throat and is having difficulty swallowing. Is this just a run-of-the-mill sore throat, or could it be strep? Head into Maine Urgent Care today for a rapid strep test. We can quickly determine if that sore throat is indeed strep throat, and prescribe antibiotics if needed.
What is Strep Throat?
Strep throat is a contagious infection of the throat and tonsils caused by group A streptococcus bacteria. These bacteria spread easily through airborne droplets when an infected person coughs or sneezes. You can get strep by breathing in these droplets, touching a door knob where they are present, or by sharing food or drinks with someone who is sick. The illness is most prevalent in children, and commonly occurs during late fall and early spring.
- Sore throat and difficulty swallowing
- Red, swollen tonsils, sometimes with white patches
- Tiny red spots at the back of your mouth
- Swollen lymph nodes in the front of your neck
Other, less common symptoms include body aches, nausea and vomiting, and a specific rash known as scarlet fever.
If you or your child is suffering from any symptoms that may indicate strep, it’s important to see a medical provider. Untreated strep throat can cause serious complications such as kidney inflammation and rheumatic fever.
How We Diagnose and Treat Strep Throat
If you are worried about strep throat, simply walk into Maine Urgent Care in Topsham, ME. We are open 7 days a week and offer fast on-site strep testing. Our providers will perform a physical exam and run a simple rapid antigen test to detect strep bacteria. We swab the throat and test the swab to see if any antigens are present, with results available in just a few minutes.
If the test is positive, we can prescribe a course of antibiotics to fight the infection. Antibiotics can lessen the severity of your symptoms, reduce the duration of the infection, and prevent the spread of infection to others. With treatment, you should start to feel better within 1-2 days.
If the rapid strep test is negative, but strep throat still seems likely, your provider may also take a throat culture swab.