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Antibiotic Awareness: Sore Throat or Pharyngitis

October 23, 2019

(gentle synth music) – Sore throats, or what
we call pharyngitis, are typically caused
by common colds and don’t usually
need antibiotics. Hi, I’m Dr. Wendy Sue
Swanson, in partnership with the Washington State
Department of Health. I’m here to talk
about sore throats, also called pharyngitis. The main thing that
you need to remember is that most sore throats will
get better all on their own and they won’t need the
treatment with antibiotics. This is because most
pharyngitis, or sore throats, are caused by viruses that
don’t respond to antibiotics. How can you tell the
difference between a sore throat due to
a virus a bacteria? Sore throats that
are due to a virus, and don’t require antibiotics, often cause cold-like symptoms. Things like coughing
and sneezing, a runny nose and watery eyes, a hoarse voice and
sometimes a fever. Sore throats caused by bacteria,
also called strep throat, usually come on suddenly and
cause a really bad sore throat along with tonsils that
are red and swollen, and sometimes with
patches of pus, small red spots on
the roof of the mouth, fever higher than 101
degrees fahrenheit, tender, swollen lymph
nodes under the jaw and on the front of the neck, and sometimes
vomiting and a rash. How do you treat a sore throat? Most sore throats can
be treated at home by taking it easy
for a few days, gargling with salt water,
drinking warm liquids, and taking acetaminophen
or ibuprofen as needed for fever and pain. If you’re concerned you or
your child have strep throat, check with your
health care provider to find out whether
you should come in to be tested for strep throat. Antibiotics should
not be prescribed without a positive strep test. Thanks for listening
to this information about sore throats
and pharyngitis, I’m Dr. Wendy Sue Swanson with the Washington State
Department of Health. (uplifting synth music)

1 Comment

  • Reply Yosef B July 2, 2019 at 5:13 pm

    I'd just add that presence of cough or nose symptom makes it unlikely it's strep throat

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