A free throat swab service is now being offered at 300 chemists nationwide.
A trained pharmacist will swab the person's throat and report back within 10 minutes whether the infection is viral - such as influenza - or a bacterial infection like strep throat. If the latter, the person will be referred to their GP for further treatment.
Four in five sore throats are viral, which means antibiotics will have no effect. In this case patients may be better off just buying over-the-counter medicine to treat the symptoms. The service is only available for those aged over 19. Adults "tend to be the worried well" and can get peace of mind with a quick stop in to a pharmacist,.Children with sore throats carry much bigger risks. It could be the lead-up to rheumatic fever so it is recommend with kids that they always go to the doctor.
Created on: 2 July 2019