8 doctors weighed in:

Is tonsillitis viral?

8 doctors weighed in
Rishi Kumar
Anesthesiology
6 doctors agree

In brief: Viral and Bacterial

While viruses (adenovirus, influenza, and even epstein-barr) account for most acute cases of tonsillitis, there are well known bacterial causes too - "strep throat" being a good example.
Tonsillitis' course and appropriate treatments are based on the etiology - antibiotics for bacterial causes, symptomatic relief and time for viral.

In brief: Viral and Bacterial

While viruses (adenovirus, influenza, and even epstein-barr) account for most acute cases of tonsillitis, there are well known bacterial causes too - "strep throat" being a good example.
Tonsillitis' course and appropriate treatments are based on the etiology - antibiotics for bacterial causes, symptomatic relief and time for viral.
Rishi Kumar
Rishi Kumar
Answer assisted by Rishi Kumar, Medical Student
Thank
1 comment
Dr. Gregg Alexander
Viral tonsillitis is most common and no antibiotic will help, but the only way to know for sure is to get it tested. (It could "look" bacterial and be viral, or "look" viral and be bacterial.) Testing is the only way to know for sure.
Dr. Mark Diamond
Pediatrics
1 doctor agrees

In brief: Could be

If caused by a bacterial infection, antibiotics are needed.
If caused by a viral infection, time improves. Other causes such such as allergies or trauma require specific interventions. So yes most tonsillitis is in fact caused by viruses.See your doctor to determine proper therapy.

In brief: Could be

If caused by a bacterial infection, antibiotics are needed.
If caused by a viral infection, time improves. Other causes such such as allergies or trauma require specific interventions. So yes most tonsillitis is in fact caused by viruses.See your doctor to determine proper therapy.
Dr. Mark Diamond
Dr. Mark Diamond
Thank
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