Virtual Care > Virtual Care: Pharyngitis - Sore Throat
Pharyngitis is an infection of the throat that causes inflammation. This type of infection is generally spread by close contact with other individuals. The majority of pharyngitis cases occur during the winter or colder months.
Viruses are the most common cause for throat infections and do not require antibiotics. However, pharyngitis can also be caused by bacteria like streptococci (more commonly known as “strep”), fungal infections, cigarette smoke and others.
The symptoms of pharyngitis depend greatly on the cause of the infection and the person affected. For some people, the onset of symptoms may be quick; for others, symptom onset is slow. Symptoms may include:
The symptoms of pharyngitis may resemble other medical conditions or problems. Always consult your doctor for a diagnosis. If a sore throat is severe and includes difficulty swallowing, drooling, stiff neck or neck swelling, a doctor should be consulted immediately.
Specific treatment for pharyngitis will be determined by your doctor based on:
If bacteria are not the cause of the infection, the treatment is usually more for comfort. Antibiotics will not help treat viral sore throats. Treatment may include:
Visit with a Virtual Care health care provider on the phone or online for help with your symptoms.