What is a Rapid Strep?
A fast throat swab is used in a rapid strep test. The test can detect group A streptococcus bacteria, which can cause strep throat and other diseases, in minutes (including scarlet fever, abscesses, and pneumonia).
Why Is It Done?
The fast strep test is used to determine whether a child’s sore throat is caused by strep bacteria or other bacteria (typically viruses) that do not require antibiotic therapy.
Causes & Treatment
If a kid has the following symptoms, a doctor may perform a quick strep test:
has the signs and symptoms of a strep throat infection but not the signs and symptoms of a virus illness
has a sore throat and has been exposed to someone who has been diagnosed with strep throat, or if the community has a high number of strep throat cases
Instead of a quick strep test, doctors may perform a throat culture. A throat culture is more accurate than a fast strep test, but it takes longer to get the results (2-3 days).