Infectious Diseases and Bacterial Pharyngitis Treatment

Topics: Penicillin, Infectious diseases, Acute upper respiratory infections Pages: 15 (3816 words) Published: April 15, 2013
* Most sore throats are caused by viruses or mechanical causes (such as mouth breathing) and can be treated successfully at home. * Sore throat symptoms include pain, burning or scratching sensations at the back of the throat, pain when swallowing, and tenderness in the neck. Sore throat symptoms may be accompanied by coughing, sneezing, fever, and swollen lymph nodes. * Home remedies for sore throat include saltwater gargles, sprays, lozenges and humidifiers. Do not give lozenges to young children as they are a choking hazard. * Any sore throat that has a rapid onset and is associated with a fever or tenderness of the front of the neck may be serious and should be seen by a doctor. * Any sore throat that causes a person to have difficulty swallowing (not just pain with swallowing) or breathing should be seen by a health care professional. * Seek medical care immediately for a sore throat if the person is unable to take his or her medications, has palpitations, or are lightheaded, or the tongue or lips swell up. * Any sore throat that lasts for more than a week should be evaluated by a health care professional. * If you are pregnant and your sore throat symptoms are severe or do not resolve in three days, seek medical attention. *

SORE THROAT (Pharyngitis)
Medical Author:
John P. Cunha, DO, FACOEP 
Medical Editor:
Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD 
Reviewed by Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD on 3/20/2012

A sore throat, also called a throat infection or pharyngitis, is a painful inflammation of the back part of the throat (pharynx). Pharyngitis can involve some or all of these parts of the throat: * The back third of the tongue

* The soft palate (roof of the mouth)
* The tonsils (fleshy tissue that are part of the throat's immune defenses). The most common cause of sore throat is infection with bacteria or a virus. Because an infection of the pharynx almost always involves the tonsils, tonsillitis (inflammation of the tonsils) was once a common name for infectious pharyngitis. About 90% of throat infections are caused by a virus. Although people who have the flu(influenza), cold sores (oral herpes simplex) or infectious mononucleosis ("mono") also commonly have a sore throat, these viral infections usually cause other telltale symptoms in addition to throat pain. In regions that have warm summers and cool winters, viral pharyngitis typically peaks during the winter and early spring. This is a time when people are more likely to gather in poorly ventilated rooms. The viruses that cause pharyngitis spread easily. The viruses can spread through the air by hanging on to droplets from coughs and sneezes. They stick to unwashed hands that have been exposed to fluids from a sick person's nose or mouth. In most people who are otherwise healthy, simple viral pharyngitis doesn't last long, goes away on its own and does not causes any long-term complications, although the short-term discomfort can be significant. In cases of infectious pharyngitis that are not viral, the cause is almost always a bacterium -- usually a group A beta-hemolytic Streptococcus, which causes what is commonly called strep throat. Like viral pharyngitis, strep throat can spread quickly and easily within a community, especially during late winter and early spring. Unlike most forms of viral pharyngitis, however, untreated strep throat can lead to serious complications, such as glomerulonephritis (a kidney disorder) and rheumatic fever (a potentially serious illness that can damage heart valves). A strep infection also has the potential to spread within the body, causing pockets of pus (abscesses) in the tonsils and in the soft tissue around the throat. *

Sore Throat Pharyngitis
Medical content reviewed by the faculty of Harvard Medical School Howard LeWine, M.D
Henry (Hank) Bernstein, D.O
Anthony Komaroff, M.D
Claire McCarthy, M.D...
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