Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"Is a sore throat always associated with a cold or the flu?"
Can you just get a sore throat? Like no other problems anywhere else? I ask because I just started to feel like I had a sore throat and I don't want a head cold or the flu or anything like with it.
A sore throat is most often caused by some sort of infection. The most common infections that cause a sore throat are the common upper respiratory tract infection (like the common cold) or the flu. Of course some sore throats are caused by streptococcus bacteria. Other infections that cause a sore throat include diptheria (rare) and HIV. If you have had recent unprotected sex with a new partner, or if you are an intravenous drug user, then you should consider getting an HIV test. Non-infectious causes of a sore throat include irritation from dry air, and acid reflux. If you are also experiencing heart burn along with your sore throat, then it is possible that acid from your stomach is irritating your throat. I suggest that you schedule an appointment with your primary care physician. He or she can listen to your description of how your sore throat started, and examine the back of your throat for abnormalities. If your tonsils appear swollen, red, and have a white discharge, then you will likely need a test for strep throat. If it is positive, then your doctor can prescribe you antibiotics. If it is negative, then your doctor can prescribe medications that can help with your symptoms.
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