Pharyngitis is inflammation of the pharynx (pronounced FAIR-inks) – what’s commonly called a sore throat. Pharyngitis is an extremely common problem, resulting in millions of doctor visits annually.
One main concern of people with pharyngitis, and their doctors, is strep throat, or pharyngitis caused by the group A streptococcus bacteria. Strep throat is treated with antibiotics, and can sometimes lead to problems if untreated.
However, only a small fraction of people with pharyngitis have strep throat. Most sore throats are due to viral infections, which antibiotics don’t help Typically strep throat is diagnosed by a health care practioner based on clinical findings or a rapid strep test called rapid antigen detection test. The definitive test for strep throat is a throat culture which takes 24 to 48 hours to complete.
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