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A sore throat is medically referred to as pharyngitis and is usually characterized by painful swallowing and dry scratchiness. The condition is commonly caused by different viral infections like influenza or the common cold. A sore throat is usually the first sign of sickness and of the most common reason to go see a doctor although in most cases the condition does not require medical attention to be treated properly.

Numerous viruses that cause sore throat usually go away on their own and can be fought by common home treatments and over-the-counter medications that do not require a doctor’s prescription. If the condition is caused by a bacterial infection it will require medical attention and most likely a treatment with antibiotic medications.


The most common symptoms of a sore throat include painful swallowing, talking, and breathing and a scratchy, dry, swollen throat as well. The condition is usually caused by an infection which has its own symptoms. The common cold may be the cause of a sore throat and it usually includes body aches, sneezing, a runny nose, coughing and fever as well.

The underlying condition that causes a sore throat gets better on its own within a couple of days and it rarely calls for a professional medical treatment. Sometimes the underlying condition that causes a sore throat may be serious and if that is the case it is usually tonsillitis or perhaps strep throat. These conditions are commonly characterized by vomiting, severe throat pain, difficult swallowing, headache, skin rash, swollen tonsils, high fever and white patches on the throat. Sometimes a person must see a doctor, if certain severe symptoms occur.

Those include a very high fever, swollen or tender lymph nodes, white patches at the back of the throat, skin rashes and a bloody saliva. Other symptoms that require medical attention include hoarseness, dehydration, decreased urination, excessive drooling, sunken eyes, mono, meningitis and a sore throat which gets better but keeps worsening at the same time. Some viral and bacterial infections can lead to certain complications of a sore throat which include ear infections, sinus infection, scarlet fever, tonsillitis, kidney inflammations and rheumatic fever which can sometimes even cause heart damage.

Strep throat is commonly characterized by fever, rash, painful swallowing, swollen tonsils, swollen lymph glands, headache, vomiting and stomachache. The infectious mononucleosis is characterized by symptoms such as spleen inflammation, anemia, heart inflammation, liver inflammation, nerve damage, swollen tonsils, fatigue, headache, skin rash, fever, weakness, sore throat, night sweats and a loss of appetite. 

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