Pharyngitis (acute)

Your Path

  • Pharyngitis (acute)


  • Viral: Most common type of pharyngitis; Influenza, adenovirus, rhino; EBV (mono); CMV
  • Bacteria: group A beta hemolytic, Group B or C strep species, gonorrhea (GC), diphtheria

Risk Factors

  • GC: oral sex
  • EBV: kissing, sharing toothbrushes


  • Sore throat
  • Fever
  • Sometimes cough
  • Nasal congestion
  • Prolonged fatigue (months) sometimes with CMV, EBV
  • Group A Strep: f, acute pain, absence of cough

Physical Exam Findings

  • Fever
  • Red posterior pharynx
  • Exudate on posterior pharynx, tonsils
  • Hepatomegaly, splenomegaly w/CMV, EBV
  • Maculopapular rash w/EBV after amoxicillin or other antibiotics
  • Head and neck adenopathy with EBV and strep in particular
  • Group A Strep: pharyngeal redness, exudate, adenopathy, sometimes scarletina-form rash; sometimes palatal petechiae
  • Diphtheria: pseudomembranes w/airway obstruction (very unusual infection in era of vaccinations