WASHINGTON (November 4, 2013) Researchers say they’re developing a home scorecard intended to help prevent thousands of unnecessary trips to the doctor for sore throats that aren’t caused by strep infections.
More than 12 million people make doctors' visits for sore throats each year, and usually the culprit is a virus that they just have to wait out, rather than strep.
The researchers, writing in the Annals of Internal Medicine, say they want to combine information on the symptoms that doctors look for with some computer data to help sore throat sufferers determine if strep throat is circulating in their geographic regions.
If strep is in the neighborhood, chances are greater that it’s the culprit.
More research is needed to determine if the method would work in everyday life, and if a mobile app or a phone call to the doctor would be the best approach.