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Why may I need a rapid strep test for strep throat?

A rapid strep test is very useful in helping your doctor determine if the cause of your symptoms is strep throat (the doctor cannot always tell by history and physical examination alone). Many things can cause sore throats and other symptoms that may be similar to those of strep throat. Because the treatments for strep throat differ from treatments of sore throats due to other causes, it is important that the doctor be as sure as possible before prescribing therapy.

You may need a rapid strep test so your doctor can make a formal diagnosis of strep throat. Typically rapid strep testing is ordered when the clinical presentation and examination are inconclusive (in the middle) to make a diagnosis of strep throat.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.