Streptococcus Screening


Pharyngitis and tonsillitis are throat infections. They mainly affect children between the ages of 3 and 15. 

They are usually caused by viruses, but can also be caused by bacteria such as group A streptococcus.

When caused by bacteria, pharyngitis and tonsillitis must be treated with antibiotics.

Who can benefit from screening?

We offer free screening for group A streptococcus (commonly known as strep throat), without a medical referral, for individuals aged 3 and up with symptoms of pharyngitis or tonsillitis.

  • Sore throat
  • Painful swallowing
  • Fever
  • Tender lymph nodes in the neck
  • White spots on the tonsils and/or at the back of the throat
  • Nausea, vomiting and stomach pain, especially in children

Where can I go for screening?

In our local points of service (vaccination, screening and sample collection):

Point de service local — Kirkland

Point de service local — Montréal (Lachine)

How do I make an appointment?

Appointments can be made through Clic Santé or by phone

What should I bring to the appointment?

Please bring the following with you to your appointment:

  • Your health insurance card
  • Your medical referral, if you have one

I’ve been tested. Now what?

My result is POSITIVE

Your infection is caused by group A streptococcus bacteria and requires antibiotic treatment.

Antibiotics will:

  • Shorten the duration of the infection
  • Prevent complications
  • Reduce the likelihood of transmission

It’s important to finish the full course of antibiotics even if you no longer have symptoms. 

If your child is sick, wait at least 24 hours after they have started the antibiotics before sending them back to daycare or school. This will help prevent the spread of infection to other children.

After starting antibiotics

Consult a doctor if:

  • Your condition does not improve or worsens 2 to 3 days after starting antibiotics.
  • It is recommended by your health professional.

Don’t have a family doctor? 

For those under the age of 18 WITH a family doctor

  • If you are unable to quickly make an appointment with your doctor, call the Info CIUSSS call centre: 514 630-2123

My result is NEGATIVE

Your infection is caused by a virus. Antibiotics have no effect on viruses.

You need to take care of yourself until the infection goes away on its own.

What can I do to take care of myself?

Here are some tips to help relieve your symptoms:

  • Get plenty of rest.
  • Refrain from smoking.
  • For pain and fever, take acetaminophen (example: Tylenol) or ibuprofen (example: Advil). These medications are sold in pharmacies.
  • Drink plenty of fluids. Avoid those that irritate the throat such as orange juice and alcohol.
  • Eat according to your appetite. Opt for foods that are cold and soft. For example, ice cream or ice milk, popsicles, yogurt and cottage cheese.
  • Adults and children aged 4 and up: Suck on ice chips or throat lozenges. Some lozenges contain medication. Read the label carefully or speak to the pharmacist.  
  • Gargle with salt water. To prepare salt water at home, add half a teaspoon of salt in a cup (250 ml) of drinking water.
  • If you have a fever, keep the temperature in your home at 20 °C (68 °F). Do not take cold or warm baths and do not use ice or rubbing alcohol to cool down the body.
  • Keep the humidity level in your home between 30 and 50%.


What can I do to protect myself and others?

  • Wash your hands with soap after:
    • Being in contact with an infected person
    • Touching an object handled by an infected person
    • Coughing, sneezing or blowing your nose
  • Cough and sneeze into a tissue or your elbow
  • Clean toys, faucets and door handles with an alcohol-based product

When should I see a doctor after screening?

Do not wait to see a doctor if:

  • Your overall health is worsening
  • You have trouble swallowing
  • You are short of breath and have the following signs:
    • Wheezing
    • Belly pulls in beneath the ribcage with each breath
    • Flaring nostrils when breathing
    • Bluish skin
  • You are showing signs of moderate to severe dehydration. For example:
    • Dry mouth
    • Less frequent urination or dark coloured urine
    • Fatigue
    • Extreme thirst

Who can I speak to if I have questions?

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