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Strep Throat
Can I do a strep test at home?

Yes, rapid strep tests are available for purchase from amazon.com or over the counter at other vendors and do not require a doctor’s prescription. 

For children, whether the test is negative or positive, you still need to see a doctor. 

Children are at higher risk than adults for serious health consequences from group A streptococcal infections, including rheumatic heart disease and a kidney disease called glomerulonephritis. Hence, with children, we are more careful not to miss the diagnosis due to a false negative rapid strep test.

Can strep be treated over telehealth?

Yes, if you have a positive home strep test, it is quick and easy to see a doctor online and get the antibiotics you need. 

If your home rapid strep test is negative, we recommend seeing a physician to determine if you have another cause of your symptoms, such as a viral illness, COVID-19, a sinus infection, or other illness. There is also a risk of a false-negative home rapid strep test. You may need additional testing.

What is the importance of testing for strep?

If the test is positive, you’ve got an answer for why you or your child is sick. You will need a prescription for antibiotics. Early treatment of strep throat with antibiotics prevents the serious complications of strep and helps you or your child feel better quickly. Sometimes a home strep test can help you decide if you should contact one of our doctors today or wait until tomorrow to see if they are worse. It can help you decide if you need to keep your child home tomorrow and allow you to rearrange your family plans, find childcare, etc.

The problem is what to do when a home rapid strep test is negative. Your child really should be seen by a doctor anyway to get a back-up culture test and possibly additional testing, such as a COVID test. If you just wait a few days to see if your child gets worse, it may be too late to prevent the rare but serious consequences of group A streptococcal infection or other infections.

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  • Direct access to compassionate and faithful healthcare providers using your smartphone or computer

  • Providers who integrate Catholic spirituality into your care as needed

  • Labs and tests ordered and scheduled locally

  • Your prescriptions sent electronically to your local pharmacy

  • Visits are convenient, private, and secure

  • Avoid the high costs and inconvenience of urgent care centers and emergency rooms. We accept most insurance plans and healthshares.

What are the differences in symptoms between strep and COVID?

Both strep throat and covid can cause a sore throat, headache, and abdominal pain. It is important to be tested for both strep throat and COVID so that you can be treated appropriately.

How can I get a COVID test?

We are happy to order a covid test for you, which will be done at any local Quest patient service center or another location of your choice.

What is Strep Throat?

Strep throat is a bacterial infection that can make your throat feel sore and scratchy. In general, strep throat is a mild infection, but it can be very painful. The most common strep symptoms include:

  • Sore throat that can start very quickly
  • Pain when swallowing
  • Fever
  • Red and swollen tonsils
  • Swollen lymph nodes in the front of the neck
  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Body aches
  • Abdominal pain
How do you treat strep?

Our doctors can administer strep throat treatment with antibiotics. Either penicillin or amoxicillin are recommended as a first choice for people who are not allergic to penicillin. Some benefits of antibiotics are:

  • Decreasing how long someone is sick
  • Decreasing symptoms (feeling better)
  • Preventing the bacteria from spreading to others
  • Preventing serious complications like rheumatic fever

Someone who tests positive for strep throat but has no symptoms (called a “carrier”) may not need antibiotics. Talk to one of our doctors if you think you or your child may be a strep carrier.

Do I need a strep test for antibiotics?

If you’re an adult, you don’t need a strep test to receive antibiotics. Children are required to have a strep test before receiving antibiotics from a doctor.

What causes strep throat?

Strep throat is caused by an infection with a bacterium known as Streptococcus pyogenes, also called group A Streptococcus. These bacteria are contagious, and can spread through droplets when someone with the infection coughs or sneezes, or through shared food or drinks. You can also pick up the bacteria from a doorknob or other surface and transfer them to your nose, mouth or eyes.

How long should my child stay home from school, daycare or work if they have Strep throat:

People with strep throat should stay home from work, school, or daycare until they:

  • No longer have a fever


  • Have taken antibiotics for at least 24 hours

Take the prescription exactly as the doctor says to. Don’t stop taking the medicine, even if you or your child feel better, unless the doctor says to stop.

Prevention of Strep Throat:

To prevent passing strep infection to others:

  • Wash your hands. Proper hand-washing is the best way to prevent all kinds of infections. That’s why it’s important to wash your own hands regularly with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Cover your mouth. Teach your children to cover their mouths with an elbow or tissue when they cough or sneeze.
  • Don’t share personal items. Don’t share drinking glasses or eating utensils. Wash dishes in hot, soapy water or in a dishwasher.

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