What causes throat infection?

Throat infections are typically caused by a virus or by bacterial infection (e.g., strep throat). Examples of viral causes of sore throat include the flu (influenza) and infectious mononucleosis. Bacterial and viral throat infections are usually contagious.

What are the risk factors for throat infection?

A number of factors increase the risk of developing throat infection. Not all people with risk factors will get throat infection. Risk factors for throat infection include:

  • Advanced or very young age
  • Closed-in work or living spaces
  • Exposure to highly populous areas
  • Lowered immunity

Reducing your risk of throat infection

Ways you can lower your risk for developing a throat infection include:

  • Avoiding sharing food and eating utensils, cups, and glasses
  • Using sanitizing agents on phones, keyboards, remotes, and other shared surfaces
  • Ventilating work and living spaces as much as possible
  • Washing your hands often

What is throat infection?

A throat infection, sometimes called pharyngitis, can be either a bacterial or a viral infection leading to inflammation of the tissues of the throat that causes redness, pain and swelling of the walls or structures of the throat.

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What are the symptoms of throat infection?

You may experience throat infection symptoms for several weeks at a time. It is important to remember that if these symptoms subside during treatment of a bacterial throat infection, it does not mean that the infection is gone: you should continue to take your medication as directed. If any of these symptoms become severe, if it becomes difficult to breathe, or if your Read more about throat infectionsymptoms


How is throat infection treated?

The most important step in treating throat infection is to practice prevention. However, even with the most conscientious efforts, infections can still occur. Fortunately, many throat infections resolve by themselves over time or are usually curable with timely treatment with antibiotics such as amoxicillin or penicillin and, if needed, fever-reducing agents.

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Medical Reviewer: Cynthia Haines, MD Last Annual Review Date: Aug 11, 2013 Copyright: © Copyright 2014 Health Grades, Inc. All rights reserved. May not be reproduced or reprinted without permission from Health Grades, Inc. Use of this information is governed by the HealthGrades User Agreement.

This Article is Filed Under: Infections and Contagious Diseases

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