Viral Sore Throat

About 90% of sore throats (pharyngitis) are caused by simple viruses (see Differences Among Germs).ย  There’s no treatment except regular pain medicine, they get better on their own.ย  We diagnose a “virus” if any 2 of the following hold true:

  • No fever
  • No pus on the tonsils
  • No swollen glands
  • Runny nose or cough is also present

Curiously, sometimes a virus in the throat can cause ear pain without a sore throat.  That’s because the nerves to the throat may crisscross with nerves to the ear.

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