What Does Strep a Positive Mean?
In recent months, Strep A has been making headlines for causing severe illness among adults and children. The bacterial illness has sadly led to 190 deaths across all age groups in England.
Are you wondering, what does strep A positive mean? Well, we will answer the question in this article, to keep you fully informed about Strep A and what to do if you or your family members become infected with this bacterial illness.
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 symptoms which indicate a Strep A infection:
- flu-like symptoms, such as a high temperature, swollen glands or an aching body
- a sore 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)
- 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.
What does strep A positive mean?
So, what does Strep A positive mean?
This means that have tested positive for Strep A (that you were infectious with the bacterial illness) at the time of taking your Strep A test.
The test has confirmed that the group A Streptococcus bacteria is present in your system, which is why the test result is positive.
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.
Is Strep A contagious?
Yes. Strep A is 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.
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 vape, as these can cause further irritation to a sore throat.
Read more content like this
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?
- How Do You Test for Strep A?
- How Long Does A Strep a Test Take?
- Is Strep A Contagious?
- Can I Enter the UK with an Antigen Test?
- COVID Video Test for Travel: Telehealth Supervised Antigen Test for USA
- What Is an In-Clinic Antigen Test?
- Do I Need an Antigen Test to Travel
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 dsay. 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.
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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 ‘what does strep A positive mean'.