Knowing those differences is one way to tell whether it’s okay to self-treat a common sore throat from home or to seek urgent care from a 24-hour emergency room near you. Sore throats have many different causes, and may or may not be accompanied by cold symptoms, Viruses cause 90-95% of all sore throats. Sore throat is usually caused by a viral infection or a group A streptococcus (GAS) bacterial infection. Mononucleosis occurs when the Epstein-Barr virus infects one specific type of lymphocyte. It is estimated that by the age of 35-40, 80-95% of Americans will have had mononucleosis. Most sore throats are caused by viruses or mechanical causes (such as mouth breathing) and can be treated successfully at home.  If the sore throat is unrelated to a cold and is caused by for example tonsillitis, a cold drink may be helpful..  In the United States, about 1% of all visits to the hospital emergency department, physician office and medical clinics, and outpatient clinics are for sore throat (over 7 million visits for adults and 7 million visits for children per year). Q. I have a sore throat should I take antibiotics? I feel a new "lump" in my neck, it is a soft lump and its very tender to palpation. Another complication is an abscess (buildup of pus) near your tonsils.  In most developed countries, post-streptococcal diseases have become far less common. Mononucleosis, sometimes called the kissing disease, is extremely common. A sore throat can be quite painful, but it is not as painful as strep throat. If this happens, the patient should immediately seek emergency medical care. They appear suddenly and last from three to about seven days. I mean, lots of things can cause your nose to run (hello, fall allergy season! How can i know if I need antibiotics?  Sore throats that are "non-group A streptococcus" are assumed to be caused by a viral infection. In rare cases of mononucleosis, breathing may be obstructed because of swollen tonsils, adenoids, and lymph glands. These medications generally cost under $15. I had a sore throat pain in my neck and fever. I am a 19 years old collage student.  The scoring systems use observed signs and symptoms in order to determine the likelihood of a bacterial infection. A third type of virus that can cause severe sore throat is the coxsackie virus. Learn more. Although the common sore throat and the more serious streptococcus bacteria both present in the same way initially, there are some significant differences between the two. In order to perform a throat culture, a sample from the throat (obtained by swabbing) is cultured (grown) on a blood agar plate to confirm the presence of group A streptococcus. Effective treatment varies depending on the cause of the sore throat.  A group A streptococcus infection can be diagnosed by throat culture or a rapid test. Sore throat caused by a streptococci or another bacteria must be treated with antibiotics. Sore throat treatment. Patients with bacterial sore throat begin feeling better about 24 hours after starting antibiotics. the most annoying symptom that i had was pain during sallowing. Since symptoms are more severe in adolescents and adults, more cases are diagnosed as monomucleosis in this age group. A persistent sore throat can also be a symptom of some types of cancer, such as throat cancer. A sore throat means that your throat hurts. ), so does it make sense to put COVID at the top of your list? There are also other medications like lozenges which can help people to cope with a sore throat. In addition, people with herpangina may vomit, have abdominal pain, and generally feel ill and miserable. These include: Alternative treatment focuses on easing the symptoms of sore throat using herbs and botanical medicines. The combination of an earache and sore throat means a doctor’s visit might be in order, particularly for children. If you start feeling sick -- let’s say with a sore throat or runny nose -- should you get tested for COVID-19? What Is the Common Sore Throat? , The most common cause (80%) is acute viral pharyngitis, a viral infection of the throat. From 5-10% of sore throats are caused by bacteria.