Is tonsillitis a viral throat infection?

Joan Haizlip, MSN
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)
Tonsillitis is an infection of the tonsils.  Tonsillitis can be caused by either a virus or a bacterial infection.  The most common cause of tonsillitis is streptococcus.  A throat culture will determine the cause of the tonsillitis.

Tonsillitis is an inflammation of the two sack-like tissues on either side of the back of the throat (tonsils). Tonsillitis may be caused by viral throat infection or by a bacterium like streptococcus, which causes strep throat. The tonsils' primary function is to fight diseases and infections, which makes them susceptible to inflammation.

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.

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.