The majority of sore throats are caused by a virus and are accompanied by a runny nose or cough. Some sore throats can also be a manifestation of seasonal allergies. Sore throats caused by streptococcus bacteria (“strep throat”) are the only ones that require antibiotic treatment for cure. Unlike viral sore throat that has both nasal symptoms and cough, strep throat typically causes a fever of 102F or higher, headache, stomachache and swollen glands. Both viruses and strep can cause “white spots” on tonsils. Strep throats cannot be diagnosed by appearance; a throat culture is the only method to diagnose strep throat accurately.
The discomfort of all sore throats can be alleviated with Tylenol or Advil/Motrin, hot and cold fluids or lozenges for older children.
Call our office if:
- Your child’s sore throat is accompanied by fever and swollen glands.
- Your child has difficulty swallowing.
- Your child’s sore throat persists more than 7 days.