Where is this service available?
This service is available in select LloydsPharmacy stores across Ireland.
Is your Sore Throat Strep?
Up to 80% of sore throats are caused by viruses, which cannot be treated by antibiotics. However, some are caused by bacterial infection and may require antibiotics to treat. The most common cause of bacterial sore throat is Group A Streptococcus. Sore throats caused by these bacteria are often known as Strep Throat which can lead to further complications if left untreated.
The most severe infection caused by Group A streptococcus happens when the bacteria invade the body (invasive group A strep). This happens when the bacteria enters parts of the body where it is not usually found, like the lungs or bloodstream. This illness is called invasive Group A Streptococcus (iGAS) and in rare cases it can cause death.
Although iGAS infections are not common, there has been an increase in cases reported in Ireland since October 2022. Especially among children under 10 years old, and sadly, a small number of deaths have occurred.
How does the Sore Throat Service work?
- You will be assessed for the service with an eligibility check.
- We will advise you if your pre-check indicates that a screen is advised, and you will be required to sign a consent form.
- Our trained colleague will then explain the procedure.
- Our trained colleague will perform a Throat Swab screen (approx. 10 mins).
If the result is POSITIVE for Strep A, our trained colleague will refer you to your doctor who will determine if prescription antibiotics are suitable for you.
If the result is NEGATIVE for Strep A, our trained colleague will give you appropriate advice and suggest the best Over the Counter medication to treat your symptoms.
What are the Symptoms of Strep Throat?
- Swollen tonsils (two small glands found at the back of your throat), sometimes with white nodules
- Enlarged and tender glands on your neck
- A painful, tender feeling at the back of your throat
- Painful swallowing
How do you get Strep A?
Strep A spreads when people are in close contact with each other. It can be spread from coughing and sneezing, or from a wound. You might have the bacteria in your body without feeling sick or having any signs of infections. You usually don't require treatment if you feel fine. But even if you don't have symptoms, you can still give it to others. You are more likely to pass on strep A to others however, if you are feeling unwell.
How much does this service cost?
Please note that this service is only available for children and adults over the age of 12. It costs €20.
There is no vaccine against Strep A. But other vaccines are available to prevent other severe illness:
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