An abnormal rapid strep test: An abnormal or positive strep test means that strep bacteria are present.
A positive test result does not distinguish those people with an active strep infection from those who are carriers of strep bacteria but actually have a viral infection (rather than a bacterial one).
"Chronic carriers of group A strep probably do not pose a threat to themselves or to others. There is no evidence that these children or their contacts become infected with the strains that these children carry. Therefore, they do not require antibiotic therapy to prevent suppurative or nonsuppurative (acute rheumatic fever, acute poststreptococcal glomerulonephritis) complications."
There are many naturopathic and homeopathic alternatives for addressing strep: http://www.mothering.com/community/forum/thread/1195173/could-this-...
Bee propolis, breastmilk, Caprylic acid, Echinacea all have medical research support: http://www.greenmedinfo.com/search/node/strep
In view of the extremely low incidence of potentially severe post-streptococcal sequelae such as rheumatic fever in affluent Western communities, rising antibiotic resistance rates, and the high carrier rate of group A streptococci in children, we advocate prudent prescription behaviour with respect to penicillin.
General practitioners are recommended to treat children having an acute sore throat only when they are severely ill (unable to drink, an imminent quinsy) or at high risk (history of rheumatic fever, having an anatomical or immunological disorder, high incidence of streptococcal infections in the community). "
More practice guidelines: http://cid.oxfordjournals.org/content/35/2/113.full
In this large study, 60% of school aged children harbor strep and are non-symptomatic carriers. Thus, the presence of a positive strep culture is basically "normal" and irrelevant, except in the severely compromised group listed above. http://www.chp.edu/CHP/111504
this study indicates: The sensitivity of the rapid antigen test varied widely among the different testing sites (56 to 90%) depending upon laboratory performance. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1698329/
Ok, do we see an issue here? Most kids have strep in their throat. Whenever they have a sore throat they get a rapid step POSITIVE test and they are given antibiotics, EVEN THOUGH the child may only have a viral infection.
Plus, even when the strep is POSITIVE, one doesn't necessarily have any infectious process develop. http://www.smartparentshealthykids.com/blog/?p=1811
In regard to "Rheumatic Fever":
"Putting Things in Perspective
Roughly 2,000 kids die each year from car accidents. Based on the latest UNICEF stats there are probably about 30,000,000 kids in the U.S between the ages of 5-15. Let’s also assume that every one of them got a Strep throat infection this year. Then let’s assume that we did not treat any of them for their Strep throat. If you do the math that would mean that some where between 10 and 100 kids would die from Heart disease that resulted from ARF. Putting it another way – your child is roughly 20 to 200 times more likely to die as the result of a car accident than from ARF and Heart disease. Again those are just the numbers. Check out the references above and do the math yourself, then… You Decide."