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Rapid Strep Test for Strep Throat


Table of Contents


Rapid Strep Test for Strep Throat

Exam Overview

For a rapid strep test, the throat and tonsils are swabbed to collect bacteria from the infected area for testing. The bacteria are analyzed to see whether Group A strep (streptococcal) bacteria are causing the sore throat.

A good sample of throat secretions is needed to make sure the test is accurate. A person must remain very still during the procedure so that the doctor is able to collect enough secretions for an accurate test.

Results of a rapid strep test are available in 10 to 15 minutes.

Why It Is Done

A rapid strep test may be done in the following cases:

In general, it is not necessary to test people who have been exposed to strep throat but do not have any symptoms.

Results

Findings of a rapid strep test may include the following.

Normal

A normal or negative test means that strep bacteria may not be present.

Abnormal

An abnormal or positive strep test means that strep bacteria are present.

What To Think About

The rapid strep test costs less than a throat culture and may diagnose strep throat quickly.

Complete the medical test information form (PDF) to help you prepare for this test.

Credits for Rapid Strep Test for Strep Throat

By Healthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer Donald R. Mintz, MD - Otolaryngology
Last Revised August 2, 2012

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