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Additional Information From NIAID

Strep Throat

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Your healthcare provider will take a throat swab to find out if you have strep throat infection. This will be used for a culture (a type of laboratory test) or a rapid strep test, which only takes 10 to 20 minutes. If the result of the rapid test is negative, you may get a followup culture, which takes 24 to 48 hours, to confirm the results. If the culture test is also negative, your healthcare provider may suspect you do not have strep, but rather another type of infection.

The results of these throat cultures will help your healthcare provider decide on the best treatment. Most sore throats are caused by viruses, and antibiotics are useless against viruses.

Last Updated August 24, 2012