ZocdocAnswersWhy do I get pharyngitis every time I date someone new?

Question

Why do I get pharyngitis every time I date someone new?

For the last couple of years I have been getting pharyngitis every time I date (and thereby kiss) someone new. If I date this person on a regular basis, I will continue to get pharyngitis every couple of months. I dated my last boyfriend for about 4 months and got it at least twice. I have been dating someone new for about 3-4 weeks and now I have it again. How do I prevent this? And why do I keep getting it?

Answer

Pharyngitis is an infection and therefore irritation of the back of the throat. Pharyngitis is almost always caused by a virus. The viruses that cause pharyngitis are typically the same viruses that cause the common cold or viral bronchitis. Certainly if you are exposed to person that is sick or carrying the virus, you have a greater change of getting pharyngitis. It seems unusual that every boyfriend you have passes you this virus. It is most likely a coincidence because it does not take intimate (kissing) contact to pass these viruses from one person to another. Another cause of pharyngitis is infection with strep pyogens (also known as strep throat). This type of infection should be treated with antibiotics. Therefore, to be safe you should always see your doctor every time you get this sore throat. Your doctor can perform a rapid screen to make sure that your infection is not caused by this bacteria. The best physician for you to see about this problem is your primary care physician. If your infections are caused by a virus (as I suspect they are), you can prevent them by washing your hands frequently, and being mindful to avoid people that have cold like symptoms. Your doctor can review other methods of avoiding these bugs.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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