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Why did my doctor swab my sore throat?

RealAge
Allergy

A doctor will usually take a throat culture to determine the presence of the streptococcal bacteria in the throat. This is done by swiping the throat area with a cotton swab that is then analyzed in a laboratory. If the strep bacteria are present, your doctor will prescribe antibiotics. If you are given antibiotics, follow the course completely to avoid future complications. It may take several days until the throat culture comes back from the laboratory, but delaying treatment for that time will not increase the risks of developing rheumatic fever.

Continue Learning about Throat Disorders

Throat Disorders

Throat Disorders

Disorders of the throat may be caused by inflammation, infection, or growths such as polyps, ulcers or even cancerous tumors. Throat problems are very common, especially in young children. A sore throat is usually minor and may go ...

away on its own. However, some sore throats can be caused by a streptococcus (usually called just strep) bacteria and may require an antibiotic. If you see white patches on the back of your throat, you should suspect strep throat and see your doctor. If you have a lump or sore that doesn't go away, trouble swallowing or hoarseness and especially if you smoke and drink alcohol, you may be at risk for throat or mouth cancers. If found early these kinds of cancers are often curable. See your doctor to get the right diagnosis.
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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.