pharyngitis is a topic covered in the Taber's Medical Dictionary.

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(far″ĭn-jīt′ĭs )

[pharyng- + -itis]
Inflammation of the mucous membranes and lymphoid tissues of the pharynx, usually as a result of infection.

INCIDENCE
In the U.S., approx. 11 million are diagnosed annually with all forms of pharyngitis.

CAUSES
The disease typically is caused by viral or bacterial infections, including influenza virus, Streptococcus pyogenes, or Mycoplasma pneumoniae. Occasionally, diphtheria or Candida albicans is responsible.

SYMPTOMS AND SIGNS
The predominant symptom is throat pain. Fever, malaise, muscle aches, and painful swallowing are often present.

DIAGNOSIS
It is difficult to distinguish between viral and bacterial causes of sore throat based on symptoms alone; throat swabs may be taken to rule out a bacterial cause.

TREATMENT
Gargling with warm salty water provides topical relief. Analgesic drugs, fluids, throat lozenges, or topical anesthetics also are helpful. If clinical suspicion, rapid tests, or culture results identify streptococci, penicillin or an erythromycin is usually curative.

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