About Strep Throat: Making the Diagnosis

We've all opened our mouths and said "aaah" at some point. That's a simple test for strep throat. Usually, if bacteria are present, the uvula (the punching-bag-shaped object hanging at the back of the mouth) and the tonsils are inflamed and dotted with pus deposits.

Even doctors can't always tell a bacterial infection from a viral infection by the symptoms alone. The standard test is a throat swab to gather bacteria form inside the throat, to be sent to a lab or tested in the doctor's office using a special kit. Doctors may use a rating system called the McIsaac's scorecard to help diagnose strep throat.

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