Healthcare professionals can test for strep by swabbing the throat to quickly see if group A strep bacteria are causing a sore throat . A strep test is needed to tell if you have strep throat ; just looking at your throat is not enough to make a diagnosis. If the test is positive, your healthcare professional can prescribe antibiotics. If the strep test is negative, but your clinician still strongly suspects you have this infection , then they can take a throat culture swab to test for the bacteria, but those results will take a little longer to come back.
Strep throat is most common in school-aged children and teens, with a peak incidence between 5 to 15 years of age. It is estimated that approximately 15% to 40% of cases of sore throat in this age group are caused by Streptococcus spp bacteria. Adults may also develop strep throat, though less commonly (accounts for approximately 5% to 10% of cases of sore throat). Strep throat most commonly occurs between late fall and early spring. It is more widespread during the school year when groups of students are present within an enclosed space.