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A sore throat can sometimes be a strep throat.

Sore throat? It could be strep throat

The medical term for a "sore throat"It's pharyngitis. We owe the word "pharyngitis" to the gifts of the Greeks: "pharynx" which means "throat" + the suffix "-itis" which denotes inflammation. Then pharyngitis literally means inflammation of the pharynx.

Like the thigh bone, the pharynx is connected not to the hip bone, but to a significant number of other structures, such as the mouth and nose, esophagus and larynx and (through the eustachian tubes) ears. That is why painful throats often involve these other structures.

And that's not all. The pharynx has additional reputable neighbors, namely the nodules of lymphatic tissue in the back of the pharynx called "tonsils" and the rings of similar tissue higher up in the nasal portion of the pharynx called "adenoids".

Inflammation of the pharynx causes it to redden and swell, which can make breathing and swallowing difficult. Other features may be an "exudate" or a whitish yellow covering, especially pronounced on the tonsils. The exudate contains dead cells and bacteria or virus.

The most common cause of pharyngitis is infection by a virus, especially one of the viruses that can cause common cold. A series of viruses, including those responsible for influenza ("flu") and infectious mononucleosis ("Mono") and a class of viruses called adenoviruses can cause a particularly severe inflammation of the pharynx.

The notorious "streptococcus throat "is due to a bacterial infection of the pharynx. The offensive bacterium is streptococcus.

It is crucial that the diagnosis of streptococcal pharyngitis be made due to the numerous complications that may arise, including rheumatic fever with inflammation of the joints and heart valves, glomerulonephritis with sometimes severe kidney disease and scarlet fever.

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A strep throat can mimic a viral sore throat (and vice versa). The culture of the throat has been the gold standard to tell the difference. The throat culture demonstrates the diagnosis of a streptococcus. New tests have been developed that give faster results.

The treatment of streptococcal pharyngitis with antibiotics can not always significantly shorten the course of the disease. What antibiotics do is kill the bacteria and reduce the risk of the dreaded complications.

Other bacteria such as the one responsible for diphtheria also cause pharyngitis. They can also microorganisms such as yeast Candida. Therefore, a "simple" sore throat can not always be so simple!


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