A sore throat is one of the most common symptoms of a bacterial or viral throat infection such as strep throat or the common cold. Because young people do not have resistance against many bacteria and viruses, they get sick more often than adults. However, most sore throats are caused by a minor illness and the patients make a quick recovery.
Distinguishing between a viral throat infection and strep throat is important. Untreated or inadequately treated streptococcus can cause serious complications such as glomerulonephritis, a kidney inflammation and rheumatic fever, a condition that can lead to permanent damage to the joints and heart valves. Fortunately, these complications are seen very rarely today, because of the discovery of many efficient antibiotics. The only way to confirm a diagnosis is by a throat culture or a rapid strep test.
Viral throat infections
Viral infections are the most common cause of sore throats. A viral throat infection can be caused by influenza, measles, mono, rhinovirus and many other. The virus attacks the throat area and causes symptoms such as a red and swollen throat, fever, inflamed and swollen tonsils, painful swallowing of food and liquids, congested and painful lungs, difficult breathing, cough, sneezing, a runny nose, headache and body ache.
If you have a viral throat infection, it is important not to use antibiotics, because they do not alter the course of viruses. The unnecessary administration of antibiotics can do more harm due to the fact that they expose you to the risk of an allergic reaction. If you experience side effects such as vomiting, a rash, diarrhea, yeast infections and vomiting, immediately contact your doctor. An antibiotic treatment can also kill the good bacteria found in your body and cause the development of antibiotic-resistant bacteria that can be very dangerous. You can use pain relievers to reduce symptoms and fevers. If you have influenza, do not use aspirin as it can cause a dangerous side-effect.
Strep throat infections
Strep throat is a highly contagious infection caused by a bacteria called Group A beta-hemolytic streptococcus. The symptoms vary according to age and health condition and can be mild or severe. The most common symptoms are a high fever, pus on the tonsils, enlarged lymph nodes and a sudden sore throat. Some people can experience chills, headache, vomiting, muscle aches, a high fever, fatigue, a rash and loss of appetite. Cold symptoms such as a runny nose and cold are not commonly related to strep throat. However, it is possible to have strep throat concomitant with a viral upper respiratory infection that causes cold symptoms. Because strep throat is usually treated with antibiotics, it is important to seek advice from your doctor as soon as possible so you prevent complications.
As we mentioned above it is important to distinguish strep throat from a viral throat infection in order to avoid possible complications. If you were unfortunate enough to develop such a complication, you might want to ask yourself if your doctor was careful enough when diagnosing you. If you think that you are the subject of a medical negligence situation, you should demand compensation. We live in an era of technological and medical advancements and medical errors should not occur under any circumstance. Nevertheless they continue to occur. If you believe that your doctor is not sensitive to your needs or he/she doesn’t pay attention to your worries, you should try to find a more sensitive and attentive doctor.