Prevention & Risk Assessment
What causes pharyngitis and tonsillitis?
There are many causes of infections in the throat. Viruses are the most common cause and do not require antibiotics. Treating viral pharyngitis is a common reason for the inappropriate use of antibiotics, which should be used only for bacterial infections. Causes of throat infections include:
- Influenza virus
- Epstein-Barr virus (mononucleosis)
- Herpes simplex virus
- Group A beta-hemolytic streptococci (GABHS)
- Neisseria gonorrhoeae
- Haemophilus influenzae type b
- Chlamydia pneumoniae
- Fungal infections
- Parasitic infections
- Cigarette smoke
What are the symptoms of pharyngitis and tonsillitis?
The symptoms of pharyngitis and tonsillitis depend greatly on the cause of the infection and the person affected. For some children, the onset of symptoms may be quick; for others, symptom onset is slow. The following are the most common symptoms of pharyngitis and tonsillitis. However, each child may experience symptoms differently. Symptoms may include:
- Sore throat
- Fever (either low- or high-grade)
- Decrease in appetite
- Not feeling well
- Stomach aches
- Painful swallowing
- Visual redness or drainage in the throat
The symptoms of pharyngitis and tonsillitis may resemble other medical conditions or problems. Always consult a doctor for a diagnosis. If your child's sore throat is severe and includes difficulty swallowing, drooling, or neck swelling, a doctor should be consulted immediately.