Sometimes a sore throat can be caused by strep. This can make someone feel tired and run down. A rapid strep test can diagnose this quickly, and once you know what is causing the sore throat, it is easily remedied.
Without performing any kind of test, it is often hard to be sure of what you are dealing with. A sore throat could just be the start of a virus, or it could be an infection.
The problem is that if you leave it long before treatment and it’s an infection such as strep throat, the person will likely feel a lot worse before getting better. With an infection, the earlier you catch it the better.
If left, then the infection grows and could also be spread to other people in close contact with the sick person. As they develop a fever and become run-down, it can interfere with school, work, and other commitments.
Strep throat is a mild infection of the tonsils caused by Streptococcus bacteria. Normally, it is nothing to be overly concerned about but can make those that get it to feel lousy.
What are the Symptoms of Strep Throat?
Many people are not familiar with strep, even when they have likely had it before and recovered naturally. However, when diagnosed and treated effectively, there is no need to go through the entire course of the illness and recovery.
By knowing what to look out for, you can then determine if strep throat is the likely cause and test for it. Checking what it is, and starting treatment early can prevent a lot of the symptoms from fully developing (such as the fever stage).
Here are the most common symptoms of a strep infection:
- Sore throat
- Lymph nodes become swollen in the neck
- Red and swollen tonsils causing painful swallowing
- Small red spots on the mouth roof
The above symptoms are quite different from those of viruses such as colds, especially the lack of coughing or runny nose. The most commonly noticed is the sore throat and swollen lymph nodes.
Sometimes the sore throat can also feel a bit scratchy or like something is stuck when you swallow. This happens most when the tonsils develop small masses of infection. They are often referred to as tonsil stones and sometimes these lumps will drop out as the infection clears. The stones can cause bad breath as well.
What is a Rapid Strep Test?
A rapid strep test kit allows you to swab the throat and test the swab for the Streptococcus bacteria. It quickly reports if strep is the cause of the symptoms and allows you to take effective action before waiting for it to develop further.
The rapid strep test kit is non-intrusive and highly effective. A simple swabbing of the mouth is all that is required. For adults, this is not normally a problem.
However, for children, it’s important to remember that the throat is going to be very sensitive. Try to avoid the sorest or redist areas. The bacteria should be present regardless of whereabouts you swab. Children may also appreciate a small bribe, such as the lollies we all got given by doctors for taking our medicine at school.
If you get a positive strep test result, you can try to heal naturally with antibacterial lozenges and time (often 3-7 days). Lozenges can also help to relieve the soreness and to keep the throat moist.
Alternatively, you can go to see a doctor. A doctor can prescribe antibiotics which will quickly clear the infection and have the person feeling well again. The doctor will want to examine you properly first though, as they don’t give out antibiotics without being sure that the illness is in fact bacteria bases (antibiotics have no effect on viruses).
At Home Strep Test
At-home strep tests are more convenient and private. They are also highly affordable and available to all.
Not only can you get over the counter strep tests, but home strep test kits can be delivered right to your door. You don’t even need to leave your house, which is perfect when you are feeling under the weather.
This means you can even keep a couple of strep test kits in the cupboard for when symptoms erupt, especially if it has happened often or you have young children.