Viral pharyngitis is a sore, inflamed throat.
Viral pharyngitis is more common in children and adolescents. Other factors that may increase your chance of viral pharyngitis include:
Viral pharyngitis may cause:
Your doctor will ask about your symptoms and medical history. A physical exam will be done. Most viral sore throats are diagnosed based on the symptoms and an examination of the throat. Sometimes, the throat will be swabbed to make sure that the sore throat isn't due to a bacterial strep infection.
There are no treatments to cure viral pharyngitis. Most cases of viral pharyngitis heal on their own within about a week.
Treatments to relieve symptoms include:
Sore throat pain can be treated with nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).
Note: Aspirin is not recommended for children with a current or recent viral infection. Check with your doctor before giving your child aspirin.
You can relieve symptoms by:
American Academy of Otolaryngology—Head and Neck Surgery
Family Doctor—American Academy of Family Physicians
The College of Family Physicians of Canada
Bisno AL. Acute pharyngitis. N Engl J Med. 2001;344(3):205-211.
Coco A, Kleinhans E. Prevalence of primary HIV infection in symptomatic ambulatory patients. Ann Fam Med. 2005;3(5):400-404.
Frye R, Bailey J, Blevins AE. Clinical inquiries. Which treatments provide the most relief for pharyngitis pain? J Fam Pract. 2011;60(5):293-294.
Murray RC, Chennupati SK. Chronic streptococcal and non-streptococcal pharyngitis. Infect Discord Drug Targets. 2012;12(4):281-285.
Pharyngitis. EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at: http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T114913/Pharyngitis. Updated August 25, 2016. Accessed September 12, 2016.
Recognizing primary HIV-1 infection. Infect Med. 1999;16(2):104-108,110.
Sore throats. American Academy of Otolaryngology—Head and Neck Surgery website. Available at: http://www.entnet.org/content/sore-throats. Accessed September 30, 2014.
The respiratory tract and its infections. Harv Health Lett. 2010;35(4):1-4.
Last reviewed September 2016 by David Horn, MD, FACP
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.