Viral Pharyngitis Evaluation
The evaluation of viral pharyngitis begins with a medical history and physical examination.
Physical findings in someone with viral pharyngitis may include:
Physical findings in those with bacterial pharyngitis include:
- Pus on the tonsils
- Swollen lymph nodes in the neck
Tests are not required to make the diagnosis of viral pharyngitis. Tests may be necessary to exclude other causes for throat infection, such as strep throat and mononucleosis.
Tests that may be used to evaluate viral pharyngitis include:
- Rapid strep test:
- A quick screening test for strep throat
- Throat culture:
- Detects types of bacteria within 1-2 days
A rapid strep test may be performed to detect strep throat in those with a sore throat and 2 of the following:
Continue to Viral Pharyngitis Treatment
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- Huovinen P. Causes, diagnosis and treatment of pharyngitis. Compr Ther. 1999 Jun-Jul;25(6-7):326-9. 
- Linder JA, Stafford RS. Antibiotic treatment of adults with sore throat by community primary care physicians: a national survey, 1989-1999. JAMA. 2001 Sep 12;286(10):1181-6. 
- Zwart S, Sachs AP, Ruijs GJ, Gubbels JW, Hoes AW, de Melker RA. Penicillin for acute sore throat: randomised double blind trial of seven days versus three days treatment or placebo in adults. BMJ. 2000 Jan 15;320(7228):150-4.