Acute pharyngitis is caused most often by a viral infection rather than a bacterial infection. Whenever necessary, it is important to do a strep throat test to be sure that the infection has been caused by strep bacteria, rather than a virus. This way, the correct medication can be prescribed to avoid worsening the problem of antibiotic-resistant strep bacteria.
Strep throat is a tonsil and throat bacterial infection caused by the strep (streptococcal) bacteria, which has several variants. The infection can result in painful, inflamed, irritated tonsils, which can cause a severe, sudden sore throat.
Streptococcus pyogenes, which are also called group A Streptococcus (group A strep), cause strep throat. Due to the overuse of antibiotics, strep bacteria have become increasingly resistant to antibiotics.
Symptoms of strep throat can include:
- Pain when swallowing
- Sudden onset of a sore throat
- Chills or fever
- Tonsils that are red and swollen
- Red, tiny marks on the roof of the mouth
- Lymph nodes in the front of the neck that are swollen
Testing for group A Streptococcus (the most common strep bacteria that causes strep throat) at a pharmacy means that you can take the test immediately at the onset of symptoms, at your convenience.
At Brintnell Pharmacy and Travel Clinic, we can perform a strep throat test, and if it shows a positive result, our prescribing pharmacist can prescribe antibiotics if appropriate, thereby preventing unnecessary antibiotic prescriptions for viral infections.
With a positive strep throat test, patients are reminded to follow the proper care to prevent the spread of strep throat infections, while a negative result enables the pharmacist to support patients in receiving the care they need, or recommending seeing a suitable health care provider, based on their symptoms.
Group A strep pharyngitis can occur in people of all ages. The incubation period is about 2 to 5 days. Although it is most common among children, it is rare in children less than 3 years of age.
For a positive strep throat test, using an antibiotic can help to shorten the duration of symptoms, reduce the possibility of transmission to close contacts, and prevent the development of complications, for example, acute rheumatic fever.
At Brintnell Pharmacy and Travel Clinic, we can help you find out whether you have Group A strep pharyngitis or not.