How Painful Is a Strep Test?
If you have clicked on this article, then you are probably wondering, how painful is a Strep A test?
Hopefully, you know by now that there is a self-test which you can take, to find out whether you have Strep A.
Keep reading to find out the answers to any questions you may have about the Strep A test, as we have outlined the key facts below.
What is Strep A?
Strep A refers to Group A Streptococcus (GAS) bacteria found on the skin or throat.
The bacteria can cause mild illness, which can be treated with antibiotics. In some cases, the infection can spread throughout the body, which can lead to serious illness and even death.
A person might not realise that they have been infected with Strep A, as they may attribute their symptoms to a common cold, flu, or Covid-19.
Strep A is most common in children between 5 and 15 years old, but it can occur in people of any age.
What are the symptoms of Strep A?
Here are the common signs which indicate a Strep A infection:
- Flu-like symptoms, such as a high temperature, swollen glands or an aching body.
- A sore or scratchy throat (strep throat or tonsillitis).
- Red and swollen tonsils that may show white patches or visible streaks of pus.
- Swollen lymph nodes under the jaw.
- A rash that feels rough, like sandpaper (scarlet fever).
- Scabs and sores (impetigo).
- Pain and swelling of the skin (cellulitis).
- Headaches and severe muscle aches.
- Nausea and vomiting
Can I take a test to see if I have Strep A?
Yes, there is a self-test that you can take, to see if you are infectious with Strep A.
This rapid test detects the presence of group A streptococcal antigen, which causes a number of bacterial infections such as Strep A, Scarlet Fever, Tonsilitis and Impetigo.
So, how do you test for Strep A? All you have to do is take a throat swab, and the test will generate your results in just 10 minutes.
The test has a shelf life of 6 months, so you can have it in your home to keep yourself and your loved ones safe.
Click here to purchase our Strep A Instant Home Test- and keep yourself and your loved ones safe today.
How painful is a Strep A test?
So, how painful is a Strep A test?
The Strep A test should not feel painful at all. It only requires a quick throat swab.
If you feel pain when taking the throat swab, take a break for a few minutes, and then attempt the test again. Relax your mind and your face muscles. The throat swab will be over in a minute or two, and then you can wait for your test results.
How accurate is the Strep A test?
The Strep A test is a very reliable self-test, which generates consistently accurate results. Rapid Strep A tests have a 98% specificity, which means that means that 98 of 100 positive tests correctly indicate the presence of Group A Streptococcus bacteria.
How contagious is Strep A?
Strep A is highly contagious and it can be passed on from one person to the next.
For instance, if an infected person sneezes or coughs near someone, or has close contact with them, then that person can also become infected with Strep A. What happens is the bacteria-filled droplets released from sneezing or coughing spray into the air, which can infect somebody else.
You can also catch Strep A by touching a surface where the bacteria-filled droplets have landed on (such as a doorknob or table), and then rubbing your eyes, nose or mouth.
Alternatively, Strep A can spread through kissing an infected person or sharing objects with them, such as a toothbrush, spoon, fork or drinking glass.
You may be at greater risk of catching Strep A if you have a weakened immune system, open sores or wounds, or if you have a viral infection such as a cold or flu.
People are generally no longer considered to be contagious after a full 24 hours of taking antibiotic treatment for the infection.
What should I do if I test positive for Strep A?
If you or your child become ill with Strep A, then you should seek medical attention as soon as possible.
Don’t wait until symptoms worsen to consult a doctor. You will most likely need antibiotics to treat the infection, which can only be prescribed to you by your doctor.
Your symptoms can be managed with over-the-counter medication, plenty of rest and fluids.
But in some cases, the infection may spread to other parts of the body and lead to life-threatening complications.
It is a good idea to see a doctor if you suspect you have Strep A, as they can prescribe you with antibiotics to treat the infection.
You should call the NHS 111 or visit A&E if:
- You have a high fever, or if your fever lasts for more than three days.
- You are vomiting, wheezing, have shortness of breath, or chest pain.
- You develop a painful earache or have drainage from your ear.
- You have pain in your face or forehead with thick, yellow or green mucus.
What treatment is available for Strep A?
Strep A infections can be treated with antibiotics such as Penicillin or amoxicillin.
Your doctor will prescribe the appropriate medication if you or your child has become ill with Strep A.
Taking paracetamol or ibuprofen (or the equivalent for children) can help ease symptoms. Never take more than the recommended dosage on the packet instructions.
Can Strep A go away without antibiotics?
Yes, mild Group A Streptococcus (GAS) infections can clear up on their own, without the need for antibiotics.
If your symptoms are caused by a virus (such as influenza), then you won’t need antibiotics.
Can babies get Strep A?
Yes, it is possible for babies and toddlers to develop Strep A if they have come into contact with a carrier of the strep-causing bacteria.
If you suspect that your baby has been infected with Strep A, you should consult a doctor as soon as possible.
If you or your partner have developed Strep A, then you should consider wearing a face mask around your baby, until you have taken antibiotics and recovered from the infection.
How do I take care of myself if I have Strep A?
Follow our tips below if you suspect you have become infected with Strep A:
- Take a Strep A test, to detect whether the group A streptococcus bacteria is present in your system.
- Consult a doctor or medical professional, who can prescribe you antibiotics to treat the infection.
- Seek medical attention if your symptoms worsen, or if they don’t go away after a week.
- Stay home if you can, and avoid mixing with other people, so that you don’t pass on the infection to them.
- Get plenty of rest, so that your body has the energy to fight off the infection.
- Hydrate with plenty of water and fluids, as this enables your blood to circulate more freely, allowing your white blood cells to fight off infection faster.
- Gargle with salt water, to get rid of bacteria in the throat. Children should never do this, however.
- Suck on throat lozenges, to keep your throat moist and soothed.
- Take painkillers to manage headaches and body aches, but never more than the recommended dosage.
- Try eating soft, warm foods, which are easier to handle if you have a sore throat, such as soups, herbal teas and mashed potatoes.
- Avoid smoking, or vaping, as these can cause further irritation to a sore throat.
To learn more about Strep A, Covid testing and travel testing, click here to read our blog articles on:
- How Common Is Strep A UK?
- What Does Strep a Positive Mean?
- Is Strep A Contagious?
- How Do You Test for Strep A?
- How Long Does A Strep a Test Take?
- Can I Enter the UK with an Antigen Test?
- What Is an In-Clinic Antigen Test?
- Do I Need an Antigen Test to Travel
- What Is a Return to UK Antigen Test?
- 10 Advantages of using a Medical Laboratory Management Software
- COVID Video Test for Travel: Telehealth Supervised Antigen Test for USA
About Official Rapid Tests
At Official Rapid Tests, we are a UK Government listed testing provider. We are a team of medical industry experts, with a combined experience of 40 years in the testing, diagnostic and medical services sector.
With our services, it couldn’t be easier for you to test yourself (or your loved ones) for Covid-19. All you have to do is buy one of our Covid tests, which can be delivered the next day. Alternatively, book a Covid test at one of our test centres, as we have over 120 clinics all over the UK.
Our Covid tests are perfect for use as proof that you have negative Covid status if you are travelling. With every negative result, you will receive a signed note from one of our doctors, declaring that you are Covid-free and fit to travel.
If you are not sure what kind of Covid Test you need, then click here to take our quiz. This will tell you which type of Covid test is suitable based on your travel requirements.
Check out our blog to read more articles about health tests, travel testing, and Covid-19.
Click here to purchase our Strep A Instant Home Test, which tells you if you are infected with Group A Streptococcus bacteria within just 10 minutes of taking the test.
We hope this article has provided the answer to the question ‘how painful is a Strep A test?’