Viral pharyngitis is caused by a viral infection such as a common cold or the flu.
Viral pharyngitis is more common in children and adolescents. Other things that may raise the risk are:
- Living or working in crowded places
- Not handwashing enough
- A lowered ability to fight infection due to:
- Stress or being tired
- Recent illness
- Long term health problems, such as HIV infection or AIDS
Symptoms of viral pharyngitis may be:
- A sore, red, swollen throat
- Problems swallowing
- Swollen lymph nodes in the neck and behind the ears
- Lack of hunger
There are no specific treatments to cure viral pharyngitis. Most of these infections go away on their own in about a week. Treatments may help ease symptoms. Options may be:
- Over the counter pain medicine—to ease discomfort
- Warm salt water gargles—to ease sore throat
- Throat lozenges
- Warm drinks, soups, or cold fluids
- A cool mist humidifier—to soothe a dry or stuffy nose
This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.
Edits to original content made by Denver Health.
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