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Can a sore throat be a sign of a serious condition?

Diana Meeks
Diana Meeks on behalf of Sigma Nursing
Family Practitioner

Yes, a sore throat can be a sign of something more serious than its usual cause, the typical cold virus or allergies. Some individuals with sore throats have the bacterial infection strep throat that may result in rheumatic fever. A sore throat can also be a sign of mononucleosis, diphtheria, and even tumors of the throat.

A minor sore throat may indicate the flu, a cold, allergies or exposure to throat irritants such as smoking and air pollution. They are usually are nothing to worry about and can be treated with over-the-counter and home remedies.

A severe sore throat can be a symptom of something more serious than a cold or flu. If a severe sore throat is accompanied by a fever, difficulty in breathing or swollen glands, or has lasted more than three days, a doctor should be contacted.

A chronic, constant or recurring sore throat, whether mild or severe, can indicate a more serious condition that should be examined by a doctor.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.