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is it possible for a throat swab to "miss" the virus or bacteria somehow?

Sore throat, negative on the rapid strep test, and a swab is out for a culture now.

I have white patches and soreness really just on one tonsil, and I'm not sure if the swab really got pressed around in that area specifically. Is it even possible for a throat swab to "miss" the area of infection somehow, compromising the results? Or will any kind of swab back there turn up reliable results?
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