Tip of the Week: Home strep throat tests

If you have kids at home and are worried about strep throat, check out the over-the-counter rapid strep kits on Amazon.  I have not seen them for sale in local...

If you have kids at home and are worried about strep throat, check out the over-the-counter rapid strep kits on Amazon.  I have not seen them for sale in local pharmacies, but online ordering is simple and requires no medical license.

The Rapid Response Strep A Kit is one of the most affordable.  The more elegant Quidel Quickvue is more costly, but perhaps a bit simpler for the layman.  I have used them both.  There are several other brands I have not tried, but as long as they are FDA approved, they should be fine.

Your doctor probably is unaware these kits can be purchased by non-professionals, and would be concerned about the accuracy of testing.  Each test does come with a positive and negative control, which helps.  I would consider a positive test as a true positive.  A negative test may be due to operator error, or may be a true negative.  Currently, physicians confirm a negative test with the more accurate culture (at least in children).

The kits have a shelf life of at least a year, and often longer.  Would they be accurate a decade from now?  My suspicion is yes, if stored under optimum conditions, though I cannot vouch for this.

Rapid strep testing is probably the best option for TEOTWAWKI.  Strep throat cultures require additional expertise, storage, and interpretation.

When you purchase a kit, read ALL the fine print and experiment with a few test strips.  You can learn this on your own (but we do cover home testing in detail in my Survival Medicine 101 workshop.)

Enhanced by Zemanta
Did you like this? Share it: