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Health A-Z

Medical Content Created by the Faculty of the
Harvard Medical School

What Happens During the Test?

A cotton swab is rubbed against the back of your throat to gather a sample of mucus. This takes only a second or two and makes some people feel a brief gagging or choking sensation. The mucus sample is then placed on a culture plate that helps any bacteria present in the mucus grow, so they can be examined and identified.

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