Strep Throat

Charter Health PC

Internal Medicine & Primary Care located in Salem, MA

When you have a sore throat, it’s wise to wonder if you are dealing with a common cold or a more serious condition such as strep throat. Our providers at Charter Health PC in Lynn, Massachusetts, will make time to see you in the office or by telehealth visit to determine if the sore throat is bacterial or viral. We provide rapid strep testing and throat culture. If you have strep throat, we will prescribe antibiotics to cure the infection and help you feel better quickly. Book your appointment online or by phone now.

Strep Throat Q & A

What is strep throat?

Strep throat is a bacterial infection affecting your throat and tonsils Streptococcus pyogenes, also called Group A strep. It is highly contagious. Strep throat is most common in children but also occurs in adults. About 1 out of 10 adults with a sore throat will have a bacterial infection. An untreated strep throat can lead to rheumatic fever, chronic arthritis, and kidney damage.

What are the symptoms of strep throat?

There are several symptoms associated with strep throat, including:

  • Sore throat, often with sudden onset
  • Pain when swallowing
  • Fever
  • Body aches
  • Inflamed tonsils that may have white patches or pus deposits
  • Tiny red spots on the roof of the mouth
  • Swollen lymph nodes in the neck

If symptoms include a runny nose and the throat exam is normal then the sore throat is more likely caused by a virus rather than a strep infection. Your Charter Health PC care provider will determine what we’re dealing with and prescribe an effective remedy.

How does strep throat testing work?

Charter Health PC offers rapid strep testing, which is a simple test in which your care provider swabs the back of your throat and checks the sample for antigens. This test confirms strep throat in a few minutes.

Sometimes the rapid strep test is negative, but your care provider still suspects a bacterial infection. In this situation, your care provider obtains a more extensive secretion sample through a throat and tonsil swab. This swab is sent directly to a laboratory, where they culture it to check for bacteria. Results can take a few days for this more in-depth test.

How is strep throat treated?

Antibiotics are necessary for treatment of strep throat. Penicillin or amoxicillin are typically the top choices, but if you're allergic to penicillin, your care provider can prescribe another antibiotic.

Within less than 48 hours of taking antibiotics, strep sufferers generally feel better. But patients should continue taking antibiotics as-directed until they are completed.

While you’re recovering, make sure that you minimize risk to others by covering your mouth when you sneeze or cough, washing your hands regularly, and not sharing utensils or drinking glasses. Your care provider may also have some other smart recovery tips!

Use the online scheduler or call Charter Health PC to get help now. Telemedicine visits for strep throat are also available!