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Module: Paediatrics

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The Acute Sore Throat in Children


Luke Chehade

Faculty of Medicine
The University of Adelaide
Adelaide, Australia


Millions of visits to primary care providers each year are for sore throats.The symptom is most commonly due to inflammation of the pharynx, tonsils, or nasopharynx. Infections of these components of the upper respiratory tract range from mild, self-limited viral illnesses to serious bacterial infections with possibly life-threatening complications. While a majority of cases are due to typical viral infections, namely rhinovirus and coronavirus, the major concern when confronted with a patient complaining of this symptom is infection by group A beta-hemolytic Streptococcus. If ignored, the potential complications can be life-threatening. As a result, clinical guidelines have been developed to aid the primary care physician in the appropriate management and further investigation of this very common presentation.

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