Clinical Presentation and Diagnosis of Pharyngitis


·         A sore throat of sudden onset that is mostly self-limited

·         Fever and constitutional symptoms resolving in about 3 to 5 days

·         Clinical signs and symptoms are similar for viral causes and nonstreptococcal bacterial causes

Signs and Symptoms

·         Sore throat

·         Pain on swallowing

·         Fever

·         Headache, nausea, vomiting, and abdominal pain (especially children)

·         Erythema/inflammation of the tonsils and pharynx with or without patchy exudates

·         Enlarged, tender lymph nodes

·         Red swollen uvula, petechiae on the soft palate, and a scarlatiniform rash

·         Several symptoms that are not suggestive of group A streptococci are cough, conjunctivitis, coryza, and diarrhea

Signs Suggestive of Viral Origin for Pharyngitis

·         Conjunctivitis

·         Coryza

·         Cough

·         Diarrhea

Laboratory Tests

·         Throat swab and culture

·         Rapid antigen detection testing (RADT)


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