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Strep throat

A throat infection (angina) mainly occurs in the autumn, winter and early spring. The condition can be very annoying but is often harmless. It usually heals on its own without antibiotics.

With a throat infection you have a sore throat and sometimes a fever . The glands in the neck may be enlarged. The condition can be associated with other illnesses such as a cold or flu. Additional complaints include a runny nose, headache and cough. The infection usually heals spontaneously and the pain disappears within ten days.

What is the cause?

  • The common cold virus.
  • A bacterium (rarely).
  • Canker sores, herpes, glandular fever or an abscess around the tonsils.
  • Throat irritation due to: smoking, dry air, shouting loudly or regularly clearing your throat.

What can you do yourself?

  • Get sick and get enough rest .
  • Give your voice a rest: don't talk too much and don't whisper.
  • Drink enough or suck on a sweet to keep the pharynx moist:
    • cold drinks sometimes help better;
    • special throat lozenges are not necessary: a regular sweet works just as well.
  • If necessary, take a painkiller based on paracetamol . If this does not help enough, consider an anti-inflammatory such as ibuprofen or naproxen. These often cause side effects, so consult your doctor or pharmacist first.
  • The effectiveness of sprays containing local anesthetics or disinfectants has not been clearly proven.

When should you see a doctor?  

Consult your doctor:  

  • if there are also serious complaints such as: confusion, drowsiness, vomiting, heavy cough or difficult breathing;
  • if swallowing, eating and drinking causes severe pain ;
  • if you start drooling ;
  • if you cannot open your mouth as wide;
  • for pain on one side, for example in the neck, headache or earache ;
  • in case of high fever or if fever lasts more than three days;
  • if you become increasingly ill ;
  • if paracetamol does not help enough and you are considering an anti-inflammatory, such as ibuprofen or naproxen;
  • if the sore throat lasts longer than ten days ;
  • if you suffer from a chronic condition .