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Sore Throat (cont.)

Sore Throat Symptoms

Symptoms of sore throat can be generalized symptoms that occur throughout the body such as fever, headache, nausea, and malaise. These may be present with either a viral or bacterial infection.

Symptoms specific to the throat include pain with swallowing for pharyngitis and a hoarse voice when laryngitis is present. Cold viruses tend to cause more coughing and runny nose than strep throat.

Signs of sore throat include the following:

  • Pus on the surface of the tonsils (can happen with bacteria or viruses)
  • Redness of the oropharynx (the pharynx viewed though the mouth)
  • Tender and swollen lymph nodes in the neck ("glands") 
  • Drooling or spitting (as swallowing becomes too painful)
  • Difficulty breathing (inhaling can be especially difficult when the passage through the pharynx or larynx becomes too narrow for a normal stream of air)
  • Vesicles (bubbles of fluid on a red base) in the oral cavity or oropharynx may indicate the presence of coxsackie virus or herpes simplex virus

Two-thirds of people with strep throat have only redness with no pus on the tonsils.

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