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Doctor insights on: Viral Vs Bacterial Sore Throat

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How can I know if I have a viral or bacterial sore throat?

How can I know if I have a viral or bacterial sore throat?

STREP test/culture: For significantly sore throat w swollen tonsils / lymph nodes – see physician & get a strep throat test & culture. Antibiotics are imperative for Strep Throat. Try saltwater gargles. Mix tsp of salt in 8 oz of warm water – gargle w this several times/day. You can gargle w Aloe Vera juice a couple of times per day. A mix of chamomile tea w honey & a small amt of lemon juice helps. ...Read more

Pharynx (Definition)

It is the connection between the mouth and the throat. The 3 parts are the oropharynx, nasopharynx, and hypo-pharynx. The pharynx leads into the ...Read more


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Sore throat and raw throat with no other symptoms. Is it viral or bacterial?

Sore throat and raw throat with no other symptoms. Is it viral or bacterial?

Can't tell: There's no way to tell over the internet. In fact, there's really no way to tell at all without doing either a rapid strep test or a throat culture. The signs and symptoms of strept throat and viral pharyngitis are indistinguishable. ...Read more

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What can cause bad sore throat, low grade fever, chills, no appetite, extremely tired. Is it viral or bacterial?

What can cause bad sore throat, low grade fever, chills, no appetite, extremely tired. Is it viral or bacterial?

Uri: it could be viral or bacterial. you need to be seen by provider. antibiotics, antihistamines are in order. clear liquid diet. increase fluids and high dose vitamin C like emergen C. should help. ...Read more

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I have a sore throat, green yellow mucous coming out my nose and body feels weak. Is this most likely bacterial or viral?

I have a sore throat, green yellow mucous coming out my nose and body feels weak. Is this most likely bacterial or viral?

Depends: Green Yellow mucus can be more assiciated with a bacterial infection. However a viral process can produce mucus of that nature. How long? Also fever? These would need consideratiin too! ...Read more

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I have sore throat with congestion and have been blowing out green mucus. Head also hurts an ears pain little bit. Is this viral or bacterial? Pls hlp

I have sore throat with congestion and have been blowing out green mucus. Head also hurts an ears pain little bit. Is this viral or bacterial? Pls hlp

Green mucus headache: It is difficult to say, majority of patients with symptoms like yours are self limiting and caused by viruses, i will wait and if dont feel better and have fever will go to the doctor.You can use saline nose spray and some decongestant like sudafed. ...Read more

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My 2yr old has had a runny nose x3days... The drainage is clear. Doctor says viral. Now he has fever/sore throat/vomiting/lethargy. Is it bacterial?

My 2yr old has had a runny nose x3days... The drainage is clear. Doctor says viral. Now he has fever/sore throat/vomiting/lethargy.  Is it bacterial?

Probably not: Clear mucus is not a typical finding in bacterial infection. The symptoms are more suggestive of a viral illness. If the fever persists see your doctor. ...Read more

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Sore throat coughing nasal drip normal temp, no allegerys, for 6 days viral or bacteral? 61 years slighty high BP no serious health probs

Sore throat coughing nasal drip  normal temp, no allegerys, for 6 days viral or bacteral? 61 years slighty high BP no serious health probs

Sounds allergy or vi: If you don't have a fever greater than 100.4, no green or yellow productive cough then likely viral, or could be allergy-mediated. Allergies can be tricky - people may think they don't have any allergies but actually might. ...Read more

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Hi about a year ago i had three sore throats in six weeks a mix of bacterial and viral, ever since I have had small red dots on the back of my tongue?

Red dots: Many many many reasons for "red dots." Most of them either normal or benign. Diagnosis requires examination and, if suspicious, biopsy. Su your General Dentist, Primary Care Physician, an Oral Medicine or Oral Pathology Specialist, an ENT specialist, or a specialist Oral Surgeon to begin the diagnostic process. ...Read more

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What does a viral type a flu sore throat look like?

What does a viral type a flu sore throat look like?

Same as type B: Most flu wile havw a beafy red throat but not always & some may have primary nasal symptoms at onset rather than throat. No one i know can confidently tell the strain of virus/flu that produces throat pain by appearance. ...Read more

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What to do if I have a sore throat is viral and very hard to get rid of. Any home remedies?

What to do if I have a sore throat is viral and very hard to get rid of. Any home remedies?

2 options: Make tea with 2 tsp of marshmallow root bark per 1cup of hot water (steep in a covered pot for at least 5 minutes). Drink several times a day or as needed to relieve throat pain. Consider adding 2 tsp of slippery elm bark to 1 cup of hot water (steep for at least 5 minutes in a covered teapot). Drink this as needed to relieve pain or a few times per day. Slippery elm bark lozenges are helpful. ...Read more

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7 days of severe body aches and a slight sore throat. viral most likely? Worsens as day goes on. Thank you

7 days of severe body aches and a slight sore throat. viral most likely? Worsens as day goes on. Thank you

Most likely however,: there are exceptions. This is what makes medicine challenging. If I were to go with the odds, most often your symptoms are due to a virus. However it also depends on if you have fever, or other symptoms, and your level of "illness". Some patients with "severe body aches" walk into my clinic and look fairly well, others may be in a wheelchair. If it continues, or worsens see your Dr to be safe! ...Read more

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I've had a severe sore throat for about 4 days. It's so painful that I can barely swallow. Should I go to the dr, or is it likely just viral?

I've had a severe sore throat for about 4 days. It's so painful that I can barely swallow. Should I go to the dr, or is it likely just viral?

Physician: This may be either viral or bacterial. Copious warm saline gargles will most likely help as will a topical anesthetic for symptomatic pain relief. Persistent or progressive symptoms warrant an evaluation, possibly a culture and possibly antibiotics. ...Read more

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What the best cure for sore throat if its viral?

What the best cure for sore throat if its viral?

Sore Throat: Hello, over the counter meds such as Acetaminophen with a decongestant will help you feel better. Rest and liquids will help too. ...Read more

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How long is viral sore throat contagious to others?

How long is viral sore throat contagious to others?

1 to 2 weeks: A viral pharyngitis lasts an average of one to two weeks, i believe the virus may be viable during that time and therefore, you should not cough or get close to children or adults who are healthy. A pediatrician or an infectious disease specialist are the 2 specialties in medicine that would be most knowledgeable to answer this type of question. ...Read more

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How long do you think is a viral sore throat contagious?

How long do you think is a viral sore throat contagious?

Cheer up: You were probably most contagious just before you got sick, so the virus could spread before you went to bed. If you have a fever, wait until it's normal for 24 hours. Otherwise, when you feel better your body has won, made antibodies, and you shouldn't be able to pass it on. There is no firm rule since lots of viruses cause sore throats. ...Read more

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Continually sick with sore throat during trip to asia. What bacteria?

Continually sick with sore throat during trip to asia. What bacteria?

Need culture: Do not presume you have a rare bacterial infection. At 43 years of age, no matter where you are, the most common cause of a sore throat is viral. The most scientific method of identifying the cause of a sore throat is to have a throat culture at a good laboratory and find out the cause and the sensitivity of the bacteria (if pos. Culture) and treat accordingly. ...Read more

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What bacteria can cause tonsillitis/sore throat?

What bacteria can cause tonsillitis/sore throat?

Streptococcus pyogen: According to myo clinic , strep throat, which is caused by a bacterium known as streptococcus pyogenes, or group a streptococcus whooping cough, a highly contagious respiratory tract infection diphtheria, a serious respiratory illness that's rare in industrialized nations but is more common in developing countries. ...Read more

Bacteria (Definition)

Are omnipresent single celled organisms which are the both the simplest form of life and the original form of life on earth. The are ...Read more


Dr. Heidi Fowler
2,241 doctors shared insights

Viral Pharyngitis (Definition)

A sore throat is discomfort, pain, or scratchiness in the throat. A sore throat often makes ...Read more