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Viral Throat Infection Treatment Overview

Find the right care and learn about different treatments.
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Care Plan


First steps to consider

  • Most viral sore throats will get better with at-home care.
  • Treat with pain relievers like Tylenol and soothing throat lozenges and sprays.
See home treatments

When you may need a provider

  • Fever, white spots or streaks on the back of your throat, or swollen lymph glands.
  • Your child is not eating or drinking, losing weight, or if a sore throat lasts more than a few days.
See care providers

Emergency Care

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Call 911 or go to the ER if you have any of the following symptoms:

  • Difficulty swallowing or breathing
  • Swelling at the back of your throat

The suppliers listed follow Buoy’s clinical guidelines, but listing the suppliers does not constitute a referral or recommendation by Buoy. When you click on the link and/or engage with these services Buoy will be compensated.

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All treatments for viral throat infection
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Read more about viral throat infection care options

When to see a healthcare provider

If you have a sore throat and other symptoms, like fever, white spots or streaks on the back of your throat, or swollen lymph glands, consider seeing a healthcare provider. You may have strep throat, which needs to be treated with antibiotics.

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.

You may also need to be tested for COVID.

What to expect from your visit

  • If your doctor thinks you may have strep throat, they will do a strep test by swabbing the back of your throat. You may also be asked to take a COVID test.
  • If you have strep throat, you will need to take antibiotics.
  • If it’s a virus, be patient by giving it time to heal on its own. You can also ask your doctor about any OTC medication that can help with the pain.

Types of viral throat infection providers

  • A primary care provider can treat a sore throat.
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Frequently asked questions