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Old 04-20-2011, 08:20 AM   #1
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PSA - don't trust the rapid strep test!

We have been dealing with "recurrent" strep throat in our house. We have a family of 7. 4 of us have been on antibiotics 3 x's, 2 of us 2x's and my hubby once. We have been diagnosed using the rapid strep test most of the time. We did have actual cultures sent (that they send to grow) to rule 5 of us out as carriers when we were negative. But, my 12 month old twins have yet to test negative. They came up positive every time they were tested, even when they had very mild symptoms. I do think they had strep at least once and possibly 2x's (one of them, I'm pretty positive had it twice). But, this time and last time their symptoms were very mild, but I took them right away because I didn't want to possibly spread if they did have it again. The dr. did the rapid again and it came up with very strong positive results. (She asked the nurse in front of me if it was a strong line.) She decided to send it in because she wanted to make sure. Well...they were negative!!! These stupid antibiotics have been wreaking havoc on our bodies. This would have been my babies' 4th round in 3.5 months. I think it is very possible the last time was false positive too. I feel awful knowing I may have given them antibiotics they didn't need. I know this test can also have false negatives. Clearly, this is not a reliable test. I won't be trusting it in the future. Cultures for us, ALWAYS.

Word of Caution: Be careful of the rapid strep test.

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Old 04-20-2011, 09:32 AM   #2
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Re: PSA - don't trust the rapid strep test!

I hate the rapid test. It's always been wrong for me. I don't have my tonsils out, and I get strep every single winter, right before it snows, and have for as long as I can remember. This last time, I had strep, mono, and thrush at the same time. My PCP had the rapid come back negative, and by the time my culture results came back (had I waited for them) I would've died. My tonsils swelled together the day after my culture was done, and I didn't get the results until 2 weeks later.

In 12hrs they went from this:


to this:


12hrs later, I couldn't breathe and to the ER I went.

I personally hate the entire system, and wish there was a better way. Had I not known I had strep, and went to ER, it could've been disastrous. Mine need to be taken out at this point. After all of that, they were near septic, and I get calcium deposit stones in them now when I get it. Ugh.

So sorry you had to go through so many antibiotic rounds mama I hope you get everything figured out soon

Last edited by Hillargh; 04-20-2011 at 09:36 AM.
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Old 04-20-2011, 11:14 AM   #3
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Re: PSA - don't trust the rapid strep test!

Oh no! I didn't know the test was so unreliable! Thanks for the PSA.
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Old 04-20-2011, 11:53 AM   #4
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Re: PSA - don't trust the rapid strep test!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hillargh View Post
I hate the rapid test. It's always been wrong for me. I don't have my tonsils out, and I get strep every single winter, right before it snows, and have for as long as I can remember. This last time, I had strep, mono, and thrush at the same time. My PCP had the rapid come back negative, and by the time my culture results came back (had I waited for them) I would've died. My tonsils swelled together the day after my culture was done, and I didn't get the results until 2 weeks later.

/snip
I gagged on my lunch when I innocently scrolled down to your pictures. That must have HURT!


I had no idea the test isn't reliable either.
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Old 04-20-2011, 12:32 PM   #5
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Re: PSA - don't trust the rapid strep test!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hillargh View Post
I hate the rapid test. It's always been wrong for me. I don't have my tonsils out, and I get strep every single winter, right before it snows, and have for as long as I can remember. This last time, I had strep, mono, and thrush at the same time. My PCP had the rapid come back negative, and by the time my culture results came back (had I waited for them) I would've died. My tonsils swelled together the day after my culture was done, and I didn't get the results until 2 weeks later.

In 12hrs they went from this:

to this:

12hrs later, I couldn't breathe and to the ER I went.

I personally hate the entire system, and wish there was a better way. Had I not known I had strep, and went to ER, it could've been disastrous. Mine need to be taken out at this point. After all of that, they were near septic, and I get calcium deposit stones in them now when I get it. Ugh.

So sorry you had to go through so many antibiotic rounds mama I hope you get everything figured out soon
That looks seriously painful. I'm glad you didn't wait. But, 2wks for the culture??? Someone forgot to call you or something. That is not acceptable. We have had several now and they take 2-3 days, 4 if it's a slow lab. This time, my babies were cultured on Monday at 5pm and I got the results this morning around 9:30am.

I'm sorry you go through this.

I didn't realize it was this unreliable either. I did know from my research on the internet that they do have false negatives, but nothing I saw said they could have false positives. We will just have it sent from now on. It's nice to know within a couple minutes, but it is not worth missing something or being on antibiotics for no reason.
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Old 04-20-2011, 02:09 PM   #6
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Re: PSA - don't trust the rapid strep test!

Yep I hate the rapid test. Has been wrong every time for me and DD. Ped thankfully after 2 times gave up on it with her.

ETA: Ours are false negs btw. Never heard of false positives.
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Old 04-20-2011, 02:56 PM   #7
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Re: PSA - don't trust the rapid strep test!

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Originally Posted by mommy2kaitlyn View Post
Yep I hate the rapid test. Has been wrong every time for me and DD. Ped thankfully after 2 times gave up on it with her.

ETA: Ours are false negs btw. Never heard of false positives.
Me either until this. My dr. said she has had several false positives. That is why she tested. Either way though, it's not good.
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Old 04-20-2011, 04:59 PM   #8
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Re: PSA - don't trust the rapid strep test!

I have never experienced a doctor not sending in the culture.
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Old 04-20-2011, 05:01 PM   #9
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Re: PSA - don't trust the rapid strep test!

My DD had the rapid come back negative and then the send out one come back positive. The Dr office said it happened alot this yr - she wasn't sure if it was a new strain or what made it happen.
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Old 04-20-2011, 05:21 PM   #10
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Re: PSA - don't trust the rapid strep test!

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Originally Posted by dancnfool View Post
My DD had the rapid come back negative and then the send out one come back positive. The Dr office said it happened alot this yr - she wasn't sure if it was a new strain or what made it happen.
Yes, this is common. But, ours happened the opposite. It came out positive, but the babies were negative.
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