What causes tonsillitis?

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Joan Haizlip, MSN
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)
Tonsillitis is usually caused by Streptococcus bacterium, or Type A streptococcus.   Sometimes tonsillitis is caused by other bacteria and viruses.  A throat culture will determine the exact cause of the tonsillitis.

The tonsils are a part of the body's immune system. They help to keep some germs from getting into the rest of the body through the mouth. If the tonsils become weakened, tonsillitis can develop from an existing infection. The same virus that gives you a common cold is the most typical virus that can cause tonsillitis. Strep throat and other bacterial infections also cause tonsillitis.

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.