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Viral Throat Infection Treatments

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Treating viral throat infection

Most viral throat infections (also called pharyngitis) get better on their own, but there are some at-home remedies that can help relieve a sore throat and cold symptoms.

  • It’s important to stay hydrated by drinking a lot of fluids.
  • Warm tea and honey can be soothing.
  • OTC sore throat treatments include medicated throat lozenges and sprays with “numbing” ingredients like menthol and benzocaine.
  • You can also take OTC pain relievers for a sore throat like acetaminophen (Tylenol) and ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin).

How do you treat a viral throat infection?

Call your healthcare provider if you have certain symptoms, like fever, white spots or streaks on the back of your throat, or swollen lymph glands. You may have strep throat, which needs to be treated with antibiotics. Children are more likely to develop strep throat than adults.

Call your pediatrician if your child is not eating or drinking, they’re losing weight, or if the sore throat lasts more than a few days.

Go to the ER if you are having difficulty swallowing or breathing, or have swelling at the back of your throat.

Medical tests & labs

If your doctor thinks you may have strep throat, they will need to swab the back of your throat to do a strep test.

Depending on the results, a doctor will discuss what medications you should try and other ways to treat the problem.

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