ZocdocAnswersWhy does my throat hurt now that my flu symptoms have gone away?

Question

Why does my throat hurt now that my flu symptoms have gone away?

had the flu last week. didn't have a sore throat then, but now that my flu symptoms have sort of cleared up my throat has started to hurt now. are they connected or did I get a sore throat right after I got over the flu?

Answer

The influenza (flu) virus, as well as other common viral infections like the common cold, often cause irritation of the throat as part of the entire constellation of the illness they cause, which also includes nasal congestion, cough, aches and pains, and, sometimes, fever. These symptoms tend to improve over a period of about 7 to 10 days. Sometimes, the sore throat sensation may be the last symptom to improve. This is in part because the coughing that the viral infection causes may lead to a persistent irritation of the throat, even after the infection is over. On the other hand, sometimes the viral illness "paves the way" for another infection caused by a bacteria. Bacteria infections of the throat tend to cause pain that is much more severe than that caused by a viral infection. The most common bacterial infection of the throat is strep throat, and this is important to diagnose because it needs to be treated with antibiotics. I suggest that you visit your primary care doctor. They can examine your throat to determine if this is just a lingering flu symptom or if you might have strep throat. If they think the latter, then they can prescribe the necessary antibiotics for you.

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

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