If a rapid strep test is negative, no back up culture is needed. It is now known that the rapid strep test for streptococcal pharyngitis has a sensitivity of 86%. This means that it will pick up 86% of active cases. Because these tests miss only about 1 in 6 cases of strep pharyngitis, the yield of backup cultures is small. It would cost $8 million to catch one case of rheumatic heart disease. And, to boot, adults are at low risk of getting strep throat anyway.
I have been practicing as a family physician for over 20 years--as both an educator of physicians and clinician. From infancy to the elderly, I perform obstetrics and general medicine. I love my career and am passionate about my field of knowledge and my patients.
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