At the Fort Collins Youth Clinic, we are in the process of updating our testing process for sore throats due to the growing problem of antibiotic resistance, one of the most serious and growing threats to public health.
In order to provide the best care for your child, we will be discontinuing the walk-in strep visits after July 1, 2019.
Patients who are unnecessarily exposed to antibiotics are placed at risk for serious adverse events with no clinical benefit, therefore patients with concern for possible strep throat will be scheduled for an office visit to see a provider.
7 important facts to know as we work out our process:
- The majority of sore throats are caused by viruses.
- Only about 20-37% of sore throats are due to Group A Streptococcus (the bacteria that causes strep throat). Strep infections typically have symptoms of fever, sore throat, enlarged lymph nodes, sometimes nausea, stomach ache, and a rash.
- Strep throat is primarily treated due to the small risk of developing rheumatic fever if left untreated.
- Children who have a cough, runny nose, congestion and hoarseness in association with their sore throat are much more likely to have a viral infection than strep throat. It is not recommended to test these children for strep pharyngitis.
- 20-35% of children are colonized with strep. This is sometimes called being a “strep carrier.” These children do not have symptoms due to strep, are not at risk of developing rheumatic fever, are unlikely to spread strep to others and should not be treated.
- Testing children with viral symptoms may lead to the detection of a child who is a “strep carrier” but has a sore throat due to a viral illness. This may lead to antibiotic treatment that they do not need and will not help their symptoms.
- Most of the time, children under age 3 do not need to be tested for strep throat as the rates of rheumatic fever and rates of strep pharyngitis are very low in this age group.