Web Analytics
Emergency Medical Services

How Doctors Detect and Treat Strep Throat

Woman touching highlighted area of her throat, sensing pain and discomfort.

Strep throat is a bacterial infection that causes a sore and scratchy throat. If you can’t imagine what it’s like, it’s literally a sore throat that feels a million times worse. With strep, you’ll find it almost unbearable to talk and eat comfortably. If you start to experience certain strep-like symptoms, it is in your best interest to visit a doctor right away. There is a specific process that doctors go about when testing you for strep throat and we’ve outlined what the process entails!

Rapid Antigen Test

Your doctor is likely to initiate testing you for strep with a rapid antigen test by taking a swab sample from your throat. This test is intended to detect strep bacteria within minutes by looking for substances (antigens) residing in your throat. If the test result is negative, doctors will usually move on to doing a throat culture. 


A throat culture consists of a sterile swab being rubbed over the back of the throat and tonsils to get a sample of secretions. It is not painful but can be uncomfortable as it may cause gagging. The sample is then cultured in a laboratory to analyze bacteria, but this can take up to two days to collect data. 


Your doctor will prescribe an antibiotic if you or your child test positive for strep throat. The antibiotic works to bring immediate relief to the symptoms and this can take effect within the next two days of starting the medication. Although, you must finish the entire prescription because failing to do so can lead to recurrences and serious complications. 

Symptom Relievers

If you find that the symptoms are still bothersome and painful, you can also try over-the-counter pain relievers such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen. Even though these over-the-counter medications are easier to access and purchase, you still have to take caution when using them. If you or your child have just recently recovered from chickenpox, you should avoid taking aspirin because the side effects are linked to Rene’s syndrome (a rare, but life-threatening condition). 

Choose Country Club Urgent Care

Here at Country Club Urgent Care we understand how painful it is to deal with strep throat and various other infections. Contact us today to learn more about the conditions we treat!

Article tagged as:

Like this content? Share it here!