Health article

Strep A Test: MedlinePlus Lab Test Information

What do the results mean?

If you or your child has a positive result on a rapid strep test, it means you have strep throat or another strep A infection. No further testing will be needed.

If the rapid test was negative, but the provider thinks you or your child might have strep throat, he or she may order a throat culture. If you or your child has not already provided a sample, you will get another swab test.

If the throat culture was positive, it means you or your child has strep throat or other strep infection.

If the throat culture was negative, it means your symptoms are not being caused by strep A bacteria. Your provider will probably order more tests to help make a diagnosis.

If you or your child was diagnosed with strep throat, you will need to take antibiotics for 10 to 14 days. After a day or two of taking the medicine, you or your child should start to feel better. Most people are no longer contagious after taking antibiotics for 24 hours. But it’s important to take all the medicine as prescribed. Stopping early can lead to rheumatic fever or other serious complications.

If you have questions about your results or your child’s results, talk to your health care provider.

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