The majority of sore throats, such as pharyngitis and tonsillitis, are caused by viruses.
However, these infections are sometimes caused by bacteria, specifically Group A Streptococcus β hemolyticus. Streptococcus A is responsible for:
Streptococcal A pharyngitis and tonsillitis mainly affect children aged 3 to 15. They occur mainly in winter and spring.
Symptoms of streptococcal A pharyngitis and tonsillitis include:
It should be noted that these infections are characterized by a sudden onset.
In the case of viral pharyngitis, no antibiotic treatment is necessary. The vast majority of cases heal within 3 to 5 days. Medication to relieve fever or discomfort may be used if necessary.
In the case of streptococcal A pharyngitis or tonsillitis, treatment with antibiotics allows you to:
An non-emergency consultation is recommended if you develop symptoms following contact with someone infected with streptococcus.
A consultation is also recommended if your symptoms persist for more than 72 hours, even without contact with someone infected with streptococcus.
If your health is at immediate risk, such as difficulty breathing, go to the emergency room.
For a telephone consultation with a nurse, call 811, option 1.
November 8, 2023
Please contact Services Québec
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