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Sore throat in children accounts for up to 7.3 million outpatient visits to the physician each year in the United States and a significant number of missed school days and parental work days. Thus, this common pediatric complaint imposes both a medical and nonmedical burden on families and society as a whole. (1) Clinicians are challenged to evaluate complaints of sore throat judiciously with careful consideration of the presenting signs and symptoms and epidemiologic factors to distinguish between patients who require further testing and antimicrobial therapy and those with benign self-limited conditions. This article reviews the common causes, clinical presentation, diagnostic evaluation, treatment, and potential complications of throat infections.

The medical dictionary defines pharyngitis as “inflammation of the pharynx.” Pharyngitis can be due to infectious (bacteria, viruses, and fungi) or noninfectious causes (irritants, smoking, etc.). This article will focus...

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