At-home strep test could soon be available over-the-counter

At-home strep test could soon be available
Published: Feb. 24, 2023 at 5:51 PM EST
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GREENVILLE, S.C. (FOX Carolina) - This winter there have been a lot of illnesses going around, whether it be RSV, COVID the flu or strep. An at-home strep test is being studied in clinical trials and it could be available to the public this year.

Tribe Clinical Research nurse practitioner Cathleen Jeffers says this pediatric at-home strep test is very similar to the COVID-19 tests. But instead of swabbing the nose, parents would swab their child’s throat.

“They swab the back of the child’s throat and a five minute test would let them know if it was strep or not,” Jeffers said.

Tribe Clinical Research in Greenville has been conducting clinical trials on these at-home tests for the last several weeks. Jeffers says outside of the trial the tests are only available to the public at a doctors office.

“This is for parents whose child wakes up, he has a sore throat or fever and parents wonder if it’s a cold or a virus,” Jeffers said.

After parents take the test Jeffers says they should still make a doctor’s appointment to get proper treatment. The clinical trials are finishing up in Greenville at the end of March. Next the FDA will need to approve them for over-the-counter use.

“We hope that we will see these at the pharmacies so parents and patients can pick these up and have them at home,” Jeffers said.

Jeffers says these at-home strep tests could be available as early as this spring, but it all depends on how long the approval process takes.