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    Sore throat (pharyngitis)

    Pharyngitis is normally a symptom of a bacterial or viral infection and is common with a cold or flu. Here's how to care for a sore throat.

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    Sore throat (pharyngitis)

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    A sore throat is one of the symptoms of COVID-19. Even if your symptoms are mild, get tested for COVID-19 immediately — use the colds and flu Symptom Checker if you're not sure what to do.

    What is sore throat?

    A sore throat, or pharyngitis, is when the throat is red, swollen and painful, especially when you swallow. It happens when the back of the throat, called the pharynx, is inflamed.

    Usually, sore throats go away without treatment within 3 to 4 days. Seek medical attention if:

    you have trouble breathing or swallowing (or if your baby is drooling)

    you have a stiff or swollen neck

    you have a high fever

    you have a rash

    you feel very unwell or the sore throat is getting worse

    What are the symptoms of a sore throat?

    If the sore throat is caused by a cold, you may also have a runny nose, cough, possibly fever and feel very tired.

    If it’s a strep throat, other symptoms may include:

    swollen glands in the neck

    swollen red tonsils rash fever tummy pain vomiting

    What causes a sore throat?

    The most common cause of a sore throat is a virus like a cold or the flu, COVID-19 or glandular fever.

    Less than 1 in 3 sore throats is caused by a bacterial infection. Some sore throats are caused by the bacteria Strepococcus pyogenes. This is sometimes called a strep throat. If bacteria are the cause, you tend to become very unwell and your infection seems to get much worse. If the sore throat is caused by bacteria, you may benefit from antibiotics.

    Sometimes a sore throat can be caused by tonsillitis (the tonsils will be swollen), mouth ulcers or allergies.

    Sore throats and children

    Sore throats are very common in children. They are usually caused by a virus. The child will normally also have a runny rose, cough, sore ears, a fever, be tired and be off their food.

    It is more likely to be strep throat if the child is older than 3 years and if they have swollen glands in the neck, swollen, red tonsils with white spots, a rash and vomiting.

    If you’re not sure about your child’s symptoms, or you are worried, see your doctor.

    CHECK YOUR SYMPTOMS — Use the colds and flu Symptom Checker and find out if you need to seek medical help.

    How is a sore throat diagnosed?

    If you or child has a sore throat and you are worried about the symptoms, see your doctor.

    They will look at the throat with a torch and feel the neck for swollen glands. They may take a swab from the throat to determine the cause of infection. Swabs can test for a range of viruses and bacteria.

    How is a sore throat treated?

    There is no way to cure a sore throat that is caused by a virus. The sore throat should clear up in 5 to 7 days. In the meantime, you can ease the symptoms by taking pain relief medication. Adults and children older than 1 month can take paracetamol, and adults and children older than 3 months can take ibuprofen. Do not give aspirin to children under 16.

    If the sore throat is caused by bacteria, you may benefit from antibiotics.

    The Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care (the Commission) has developed a guide which can be used with your doctor to help you decide whether to use antibiotics when you or your child has a sore throat.

    Sore throat remedies and self-care

    Over-the-counter medications might help, such as lozenges or throat gargles that contain local anaesthetic. If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, avoid products that contain iodine (such as Betadine®). Your pharmacist can give you more information.

    Eating soft foods such as ice cream, ice blocks or jelly, can help.

    To ease a scratchy throat, try gargling with warm, salty water or drinking hot water with honey and lemon. Warm or iced drinks and ice blocks may be soothing.

    Avoid foods that cause pain when you swallow. Try eating soft foods such as yoghurt, soup or ice cream.

    It is important to stay well hydrated so drink plenty of water. If you have an existing medical condition, check with your doctor about how much water is right for you.

    Keep the room at a comfortable temperature and rest and avoid heavy activity until symptoms go away.

    Smoking or breathing in other people’s smoke can make symptoms worse. Try to avoid being around people who are smoking. If you are a smoker, try to cut down or quit. For advice on quitting smoking, visit the Quit Now website.

    Find out more about self-care tips if you have a high temperature (fever).

    Learn more here about the development and quality assurance of healthdirect content.

    Last reviewed: March 2021

    Source : www.healthdirect.gov.au

    Is a sore throat a symptom of COVID

    Did you know that a sore throat can be a symptom of COVID-19? Here’s how to spot it and what it’s like.

    Is a sore throat a symptom of COVID-19?

    April 1, 2021

    This article has not been updated recently

    Data from millions of ZOE COVID Symptom Study app contributors has shown that a sore throat can be a symptom of COVID-19. Here’s how to spot it and what it feels like.

    What is a sore throat like in COVID-19?

    Even though a sore throat is a less well-known symptom of COVID-19, it’s an early sign of the disease and reasonably common in children and adults up to the age of 65.

    People using the app have reported having a sore throat that feels similar to what you might experience during a cold or laryngitis.

    COVID-related sore throats tend to be relatively mild and last no more than five days. A very painful sore throat that lasts more than five days may be something else such as a bacterial infection, so don’t be afraid to contact your GP if the problem persists.

    It’s important to remember that sore throats are common and caused by lots of respiratory illnesses such as normal colds. So although many people with COVID-19 experience sore throats, most people with a sore throat will not have COVID-19.

    When does a sore throat happen in COVID-19?

    A sore throat is an early symptom of COVID-19, usually appearing in the first week of illness and improving quite quickly. It feels worse on the first day of infection but gets better on each following day.

    On average, a sore throat will last two to three days but can last longer in adults (up to seven days compared to five days for children). If your sore throat is persisting, it’s unlikely to be COVID-19.

    How common are sore throats in COVID-19?

    Almost half of people who are ill with COVID-19 will experience a sore throat. However, it’s more common in adults aged 18-65 (49%) and than in the elderly (37%) or those under 18 (40%).

    Around 11% of people who were ill with COVID-19 reported a sore throat as their only symptom.

    What other symptoms of COVID-19 are common alongside a sore throat?

    A sore throat is most likely to occur alongside many other symptoms of COVID-19. People reported a sore throat with varying combinations of symptoms, some of which are associated with a higher risk of needing hospital support.

    Having a sore throat together with loss of smell (anosmia) is more likely to be COVID-19 than a regular cold.

    Over the age of 16, a sore throat is associated most of the time with fatigue and headaches, and sometimes with a hoarse voice and light-headedness. Across all ages, a sore throat is reasonably common alongside a persistent cough and fever.

    Depending on your age and sex, you should contact your doctor if you have multiple different symptoms of COVID-19 in the first week of being ill.

    What should I do if I have a sore throat and think it might be COVID-19?

    If you have a sore throat it could be COVID-19, especially if you have lost your sense of smell, you should:

    Follow the NHS guidelines and self-isolate at home to help protect the people around you and the wider community.

    Download the ZOE COVID Symptom Study app and log your symptoms to be offered a test through the app.

    Also log your health daily in the app, if you’re not already, to help us understand more about how COVID-19 affects people and contribute to life-saving scientific research.

    Check out our tips on looking after yourself if you are sick with COVID-19, monitoring your health at home and staying hydrated.

    The NHS has more detailed advice for how to soothe and treat a sore throat.

    Stay safe and keep logging.

    Discover more about your health

    Visit the ZOE Health Academy to learn more about your unique biology.

    Learn more

    Other updates

    ZOE Health Study joins world-leading cancer trial, NHS-Galleri

    June 14, 2022

    We’re very excited to announce a new partnership with the NHS-Galleri cancer trial. ZOE Health Study Contributors who meet the eligibility criteria will be invited to take part in a new trial helping to detect cancer early and save lives.

    How your new health reports advance science

    June 1, 2022

    We’re introducing a brand new way of reporting in the ZOE Health Study app which will take into account how you usually feel. We’re still tracking COVID symptoms, tests and vaccines but this new way of reporting goes beyond this to examine your daily, general health.

    COVID numbers have stopped falling

    Source : health-study.joinzoe.com

    How Long Does Sore Throat Last with COVID?

    Sore throat, an early symptom of COVID for about half of people with the illness, tends to be mild and usually lasts on average two to three days, and no more than five days.


    How Long Does Sore Throat Last with COVID?

    Medical Editor: John P. Cunha, DO, FACOEP

    Privacy & Trust Info

    COVID Diagnosis Treatment COVID Vaccine Guide

    Sore throat, an early symptom of COVID for about half of people with the illness, tends to be mild and usually lasts on average two to three days, and no more than five days.

    COVID-19 is a novel (new) coronavirus, not previously identified in humans, that is responsible for an outbreak of respiratory illness that became a global pandemic in 2020. COVID-19 is different from other coronaviruses that cause mild illness, such as the common cold.

    Sore throat is an early symptom of COVID, affecting about half of people who have the illness.

    Sore throats associated with COVID tend to be mild and usually last on average two to three days, and no more than five days.

    If a sore throat is severe and lasts longer than five days it may be a sign of another condition, such as a bacterial infection.

    Symptoms of COVID appear about 2 to 14 days after exposure and include:

    Shortness of breath Cough Fever or chills

    Changes in taste and/or smell

    Headache Fatigue Diarrhea Body aches Nausea

    Feeling unwell (malaise)

    Loss of appetite Congestion Runny nose

    Emergency warning signs that require immediate medical attention (call 9-1-1 or go to a hospital’s emergency department): 

    Difficulty breathing

    Persistent pain or pressure in the chest

    Bluish lips or face

    New confusion or inability to arouse

    How Is COVID Diagnosed?

    COVID is diagnosed with a physical examination and a patient history which will include asking if the patient had any known recent exposure to the virus.

    If COVID is suspected, tests used to diagnose the virus include:

    PCR tests (genetic or molecular test)

    Results can take hours to up to one week

    More accurate than an antigen test

    Antigen test

    Results are available in less than one hour

    Less accurate than a PCR test

    An antibody test may be used to determine if a person had a past COVID-19 infection, but it is not used to diagnose current infections because it takes up to 3 weeks following infection for the body to produce antibodies to the virus.

    What Is the Treatment for COVID-19?

    There is no specific treatment for COVID-19, and supportive care is aimed at relieving symptoms in mild cases.

    Treating COVID at Home

    In mild cases, staying home and self-isolating for 14 days is recommended to avoid spreading the virus. Treatments for mild COVID-19 symptoms include:

    Pain relievers Cough suppressants Rest

    Adequate fluid intake

    Monoclonal Antibodies 

    Casirivimab/imdevimab (Regen-COV), a monoclonal antibody combination, has received Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat mild-to-moderate COVID-19 in adult and pediatric patients 12 years and older who are at high risk for progressing to severe COVID-19 and/or hospitalization.

    Regen-COV is effective against the Delta variant of COVID, but it has been shown to be less effective against the Omicron variant.

    Tixagevimab/cilgavimab (Evusheld), a monoclonal antibody combination, has received Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the pre-exposure prevention of COVID-19 in certain adults and pediatric individuals (12 years of age and older weighing at least 40 kilograms [about 88 pounds]).

    Monoclonal antibodies are not indicated for use in severe cases.

    COVID Hospitalization

    More severe COVID-19 cases may require hospitalization and treatments may include:

    Antiviral therapy with remdesivir

    Corticosteroids Immunotherapy

    Antithrombotic therapy - anticoagulants and antiplatelet therapy

    High-flow nasal cannula (HFNC) oxygen



    Hydroxychloroquine has been touted as a possible treatment, but studies have shown it to be ineffective with a high risk of fatal heart arrythmias, and it is not recommended.


    Ivermectin has also been suggested as a possible treatment for COVID. While ivermectin is approved for human use to treat infections caused by some parasitic worms and head lice and skin conditions such as rosacea, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not authorized or approved ivermectin for use in preventing or treating COVID-19 in humans or animals.

    Currently available data do not show ivermectin is effective against COVID-19 and taking large doses of ivermectin is dangerous.

    How Do You Prevent COVID-19?

    The best way to prevent COVID-19 is vaccination.

    The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends all eligible individuals be vaccinated against the virus that causes COVID-19. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved one vaccine for the prevention of COVID-19:

    Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine

    FDA-approved for individuals 16 years and older

    Emergency use authorization (EUA) for individuals 12 years and older

    Emergency use authorization (EUA) for children between the ages of 5 and 11

    One-third the dose given to adolescents and adults, delivered with a smaller needle

    Source : www.emedicinehealth.com

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