A: The only official way is to undergo a throat culture (which takes 2-3 days), or undergo a rapid “Strep” test in the office (but only 80-90% accurate). The only strain of bacteria that’s tested for is GABHS, or group A beta hemolytic streptococcus. This particular strain of bacteria can produce toxins that can potentially injure the heart or the kidneys. There are many other types of “Strep” that can also cause throat infections, but are harmless to vital organs. In most cases, GABHS presents with high fever (102 to 103˚ F), pus on the tonsils or throat, and very swollen, inflamed neck glands. Severe throat pain by itself is not a reason to treat with oral antibiotics.