What is Strep A?

What is Strep A? 

Streptococcus, also known as Strep A or Strep Throat is an infection that causes bacteria to colonise the throat and skin which in turn can result in a range of skin, soft tissue and respiratory tract infections. 

What are the symptoms? 

Symptoms of Streptococcus include: 

  • Sore throat or pain when swallowing  
  • High temperature 
  • Swollen tonsils, sometimes with white patches or streaks of pus 
  • Swollen glands in the front of the neck 
  • Rash that feels like sandpaper 


Is Strep A contagious? 

Streptococcus is very contagious. It is spread through contact with droplets from an infected person when they talk, cough or sneeze. Touching your mouth, nose or eyes after touching an infected surface could cause you to become ill. Ensure to keep up with washing your hands regularly and avoiding touching your face as much as possible. 


Who can get Strep A? 

Anyone can get Strep Throat however, it is more common in children aged 5-15. 


How can it be treated? 

Streptococcus can be treated with a course of antibiotics. If you are worried you or your child is unwell you should visit the GP for a rapid Strep test, if the test is positive you will be administered antibiotics. If symptoms continue after 48 hours you should contact the doctor for further investigation. 


Is Strep A Dangerous? 

It is mostly harmless but in some extreme cases can progress and cause worsening infections, which can potentially be dangerous. It is responsible for causing Scarlet Fever, which causes a rash and a red tongue in addition to the above symptoms and would require medical advice. 


Can you test for Strep A? 

The GP can test for Streptococcus with a rapid swab test. This means sending a swab sample from the throat to see if group A strep bacteria is present. If it is positive the GP will prescribe the relevant treatment. These preliminary results can be available in 4 hours. It can also be detected on a routine throat culture swab. 


What should I do if my child is unwell? 

If your child is exhibiting any of the above symptoms, has been in contact with anyone with Strep Throat and you are worried then you can book an appointment at any of our private GP clinics for a test. The test costs £94.40 and can be conducted in a 15-minute appointment from £89.