How is a sore throat diagnosed?

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A sore throat, by itself, may be diagnosed by the symptoms. If you have pain when you swallow, a scratchy feeling in your throat, and your throat is red, you most likely have a sore throat. This is especially the case if you are experiencing other cold or flu symptoms (achiness, congestion, and cough) or signs of allergies (runny nose and sneezing). If your doctor believes your sore throat is a result of a bacterial infection, like strep throat, then you will be given a throat culture to test for the presence of the streptococcus bacteria.

Continue Learning about Viral Throat Infections

Viral Throat Infections

Viral Throat Infections

Aside from strep throat, most sore throats caused by are contagious, viral throat infections that cannot be treated with antibiotics. The most common culprits of a viral throat infection include coxsackievirus, mononucleosis, and ...

the flu. Mononucleosis (mono) is a virus that causes symptoms that can last for weeks or months at a time. Viral throat infections are best treated with rest, liquids and other home remedies. If the sore throat causes you to have trouble breathing or a high fever, or results in spots in the back of your throat, call your 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.