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Home score for strep throat in adults could avoid unnecessary doctor visits

November 4, 2013
  • By Nancy Ferrari, Managing Director and Executive Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

About the Author

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Nancy Ferrari, Managing Director and Executive Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

Nancy Ferrari is Managing Director and Executive Editor at Harvard Health Publishing and a former editor of the Harvard Heart Letter. Before joining Harvard Health, Nancy was Manager of the Clinical Publications Program at Harvard Pilgrim … See Full Bio
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Julia Snyder
November 20, 2013

I see that more kids get strep just as their bodies are still developing as for adults we have grown better immunity to the sicknesses. I wouldn’t self diagnose without some resources to really help, I have Dr. Chris Johnson’s Keeping Your Kids Out of the ER, is his site. He really gives some great info and insight into when to see a doc or not, at least as far as kids go, better to know then to guess.

November 8, 2013

My grandson exhibited signs of slight sore throat then
a few days later he had a swollen painful testicle and full body rash. He was diagnosed with strep.

November 5, 2013

Is this really a problem? How expensive is a rapid test for strep? I would rather take an hour off of work and go pay for a throat swab than suffer with undiagnosed strep throat for several more days (and miss even more work) because my doctor told me it’s statistically unlikely that I have strep, or that strep is unlikely to kill me. Strep is painful, and it’s easily curable. What’s the problem?

Deirdre McNamer MD
December 1, 2013

Not all sore throats are “strep throat”. True streptoccal bacterial infections are treated with antibiotics – not because it makes the throat pain go away faster – but because it prevents the complications from strep infection such as rheumatic heart disease (antibodies formed against the bacteria cross-react with proteins on heart valves) or strep glomerular nehpritis (immune complexes precipitate in the kidneys causing damage to the kidney). Using antibiotics to treat sore throats that are caused by viruses is ineffective and contributes to the rise of antibiotic resistance. Not only that but complications of antibiotics (allergic reactions, colitis, etc) can be very significant. An out-of-pocket cost for a clinic visit is about $120, rapid strep test with reflex culture is about $80, lost work time is ?$ – inappropriate use of the medical system for 230,000 visits a year at a cost of $46,000,000 plus lost work time – it is a big deal.

November 4, 2013

Is question same as comment? I just have strep throat but this comng after working hard. I work using motorcycle to deliver good from 6 am up to 5 pm. This work I do just from around 1 month ago and now I am getting strep throat.

My question is there any relation between this job with strep throat? If not why after doing this job I got strep throat?

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