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Health Tip: Having a Throat Culture?

Here's what to expect

(HealthDay News) -- A throat culture is a diagnostic test that's often used to diagnose strep throat. While not painful, a throat culture may be uncomfortable and rather frightening for children.

Here is information to help you prepare for a throat culture, courtesy of the U.S. National Library of Medicine:

  • A throat culture is taken by using a long stick with cotton on the end to swab the throat and check for bacteria.
  • Gagging is common during a throat culture, but try to resist the reflex.
  • You shouldn't use an antiseptic mouthwash before the test.
  • Side effects and pain are rare from a throat culture, but some people may feel nauseous, or may vomit or cough.
  • The presence of abnormal bacteria on the culture indicates an infection, often strep throat.
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