Strep A test 'n' treat service
An in-pharmacy service provides patients with a convenient alternative to their GP, where they can walk in with no prior appointment, including Saturdays
WHAT IS A SORE THROAT?
Inflammation of the tissues in the larynx, pharynx and tonsils cause the symptoms we associate with sore throats.
Uncomplicated sore throats usually last up to 3 days and are linked with the flu and colds. Coughing, which is a symptom of both infections can aggravate the throat and make it feel worse.
A severe sore throat, that lasts over 3 days could be a symptom of a more serious condition like tonsillitis or laryngitis. Sore throats also accompany many viral infections such as measles, mumps, chicken pox, glandular fever and whooping cough. All these conditions are highly contagious and can cause epidemics, especially during the winter months.
VIRAL SORE THROATS
The majority of sore throats are caused by a viral infection, like those which cause colds and flu. These are most common in the winter, when we spend more time indoors in contact with other people, enabling germs to spread rapidly. A viral infection can lead to a more serious bacterial infection once the immune system has been weakened. When your sore throat is caused by a viral infection there is no immediate treatment. Fortunately, viral infections usually only last a few days as the body is normally able to fight off the infection by itself.
BACTERIAL SORE THROATS
Bacteria can cause more serious sore throats, that can lead to conditions such as tonsillitis or ear infections. Bacteria can cause the throat to become very inflamed and sore. In most cases antibiotic treatment prescribed from your doctor will be the only successful treatment to help reduce the symptoms.
The bacteria that causes the majority of sore throats, is called streptococcus group A (strep A). Somebody who has a strep sore throat might have a sore throat with a fever that starts suddenly, without a cough or cold symptoms. Strep throat is very common in children.
SYMPTOMS OF A SORE THROAT CAUSED BY BACTERIA OR A VIRUS CAN INCLUDE:
- Painful red throat.
- Swollen tonsils.
- Difficulty in swallowing.
- Swollen lymph glands and neck stiffness.
Most viruses subside in a few days and treatment is not necessary, antibiotics are not given to relieve throat pain in general, and usually the best advice would be to let nature take its course.
People with a sore throat caused by bacteria can be treated very easily with a course of antibiotics. Treatment is essential with bacterial infection to prevent more serious conditions developing. If your result is positive and you don’t have any other contra-indications, we can supply you with a course of antibiotics with no prescription necessary.
- Have a consultation with our pharmacist
- Swab test for a bacterial infection
- Pharmacist decides if you need antibiotics
- Take the antibiotics as instructed
- Manage symptoms with painkillers, fluids, lozenges, gargles and sprays