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Why did my doctor swab my sore throat?

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.

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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.