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A 21-year-old female asked:

I have a very sore throat, (several days)and it hurts to swallow. im starting to see white spots on my tonsils but can't be sure. tonsillitis or strep?

2 doctor answers5 doctors weighed in
Dr. Carla Enriquez
Pediatrics 51 years experience
Could be both: "tonsillitis" is a nonspecific term for inflammation of the tonsils. "strep" refers to a specific cause of tonsillitis. But you can get strep without having tonsils and you can get tonsillitis without having strep. Only a throat culture/rapid test can discern if strep is present. Usually there is fever, swollen glands without cold symptoms in strep infection. Important to treat strep - see doc.
Dr. Howard Schneider
Pediatric Dentistry 35 years experience
Does it matter?: Either way you need to see your medical doctor right away for proper treatment. Untreated throat infections can lead to a whole host of other problems. Don't wait!
Dr. Carla Enriquez
Pediatrics 51 years experience
Most viral tonsillitis episodes are self limited and need no medical attention, particularly if there are no systemic symptoms.
Apr 7, 2013

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