The pharynx is the medical term for the back of the throat. Pharyngitis is inflammation of the
pharynx or what most people call a sore throat. Pharyngitis often causes a scratchy feeling in
the throat and pain, or even difficulty, swallowing. It is one of the most common causes of both
visits to the doctor and days home from work or school. Acute pharyngitis can be caused by
either a bacterial or, more commonly, a viral infection.
WHO IS AT RISK FOR ACUTE PHARYNGITIS?
Acute pharyngitis is very common because everyone is at risk for getting it. Those who are
frequently exposed to the cold and flu, for example healthcare workers and elementary school
teachers, are at an increased risk of developing acute pharyngitis. It is also more common in the
SYMPTOMS OF ACUTE PHARYNGITIS
Because there are many possible causes of acute pharyngitis, the symptom can also vary
depending on the cause. The most obvious symptoms include a sore and dry throat but may
also be accompanied by:
? Runny nose
? Fever and chills
? Headache and body aches
? Swollen lymph nodes
? Difficulty swallowing
? Nausea and loss of appetite
Diagnosis and Treatment of Acute Pharyngitis
Some of the most common causes of acute pharyngitis include the common cold, the flu, and
mononucleosis (mono). Each of these is a virus and, as such, cannot be treated with antibiotics.
As a result, treatment is usually aimed at lessening symptoms rather than treating the
underlying cause of illness.
While less common, acute pharyngitis may also be caused by a bacterial infection. When this is
the case, such as with bacterial pharyngitis caused by strep throat, gonorrhea, chlamydia, or
diphtheria, antibiotics are the best treatment. If you suspect that one of these may be the
underlying cause of your pharyngitis, talk to a doctor right away.
How PlushCare Works
1. Video chat with a doctor and send in pictures of your rash. 2. The doctor can tell you what the
rash is, and prescribe any needed medicines. 3. Pick up your prescription at your pharmacy,
and even get a signed doctor's note for school or work.