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Pharyngitis (a sore throat) can last for a short or long period of time, depending on the cause. The two most common causes of this symptom are viruses and bacteria. If the cause is bacterial, treatment may include medications such as antibiotics. For viral infections, your immune system will typically cure the infection, and there are some home remedies that may be useful in reducing discomfort.
What Is Pharyngitis?Pharyngitis is the medical term for a sore throat. It is a frequent symptom of the common cold or other upper respiratory infections. This condition often makes it painful to swallow. It can also make the throat feel dry and scratchy.
Causes and SymptomsThe two most common reasons for pharyngitis are an infection with either a virus (the most common) or bacteria. Strep throat is the most common bacterial cause of pharyngitis. It is caused by group A streptococcus (GAS, Streptococcus pyogenes). Up to 30 percent of children and 10 percent of adults who seek medical treatment for pharyngitis are diagnosed with strep throat.
- A fever above 101ºF (38.3ºC)
- Red and enlarged tonsils
- Tender or swollen lymph glands in the neck
- No signs of a viral infection (such as a cough, runny nose, or irritation of the eyes).
- Dry air
- Irritants, including tobacco smoke.