Is Pharyngitis Contagious?

Pharyngitis is the medical term for a sore throat. Many people wonder, "Is pharyngitis contagious?"
 
In most cases, pharyngitis is contagious, as a majority of sore throats are caused by germs. The transmission of this throat infection normally occurs through direct contact with infected substances (mucus, nasal discharge, saliva) or by touching shared items or surfaces that have come into contact with someone else's infected fluids. This can happen when an infected person sneezes or coughs, and infected droplets spray into the air. The infected mucus can land in another person's nose, throat, or eyes, and enter the body.
 
More than half of sore throats are caused by viruses (known medically as viral pharyngitis). They are often the same viruses that cause the common cold, flu, a sinus infection (sinusitis), or other upper respiratory tract infections.
 
Throat infections with bacteria can also cause pharyngitis. Strep throat is the most common bacterial throat infection. It is caused by group A streptococcus bacteria.
 
(For more information on whether this condition is contagious, click Pharyngitis and Sore Throat Causes. These articles also discuss various causes of this throat condition, as well as information on how to prevent spreading the infection.)
 
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