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The Informed Parent

More Information From Pediatric Medical Literature: Diagnosis Before Treatment of Sore Throat?

by John H. Samson, M.D., F.A.A.P.
Published on Aug. 28, 2006

PEDIATRICS Vol. 117 #6 June 2006

The article clearly emphasizes the need to confirm the diagnosis of group A Streptococcus pharyngitis before beginning to treat or continuing treatment with antibiotics for that condition.

Many studies in the past have documented the fact that fifty percent of the time the physician who diagnoses "strep throat" without a rapid test or culture will be wrong. Thus, the patient is subjected to ten days of antibiotic therapy for a streptococcus infection he never had.

With emergence of resistant bacteria the use of antibiotics must be guided by diagnostic tests. The advent of very reliable rapid tests allows all physicians the ability to document the bacteria before an antibiotic for a sore throat is started.

Be sure to request that your physician do this when consulting with your pediatrician about your child's sore throat.

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