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Viral or Bacterial Sore Throat?
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Viral or Bacterial Sore Throat?

For two days I had the usual beginning symtoms (symptoms) of a sore throat ... mostly scratchiness ... on the third day I had the full blown sore throat with painful swallowing.  I saw my doctor and started antibiotics.  It has been about 24 hours and the sore throat is almost gone.  My question ... if the sore throat was caused by a virus, would the antibiotics have any affect whatsoever?  Only other symptom I had was a headache, which is probably due more to a bad night's sleep.  Thank you.
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Avatar_n_tn
Antibiotics have no effect on viruses, but they can work pretty quickly on bacterial infections, so you might have had one of those.  The doc probably didn't know from looking which one you had - did s/he do a throat swab?
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Avatar_f_tn
See my post above.  Also, if you have swollen glands or fever, docs. generally treat with antibiotics.
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Avatar_n_tn
I completely disagree that docs "generally" use antibiotics with fever/swollen glands.  Some of the most virulent illnesses my kids have had were caused by viruses, and the docs wouldn't give me anything for them.  The only way to be 100% sure is either by throat culture, or blood work can usually differentiate between viral and bacterial.  
One thing to consider is that if you/your child have either bacterial/viral infection, because the immune system is already compromised, it is possible to catch the other kind of infection.  Does this make sense?  My daughter had strep, and 3 days later got a virus, because her immune system wasn't working properly and couldn't fight it off.
Antibiotics are not the answer for everything.  Sometimes your body just has to work it out on its own.  That's what the fever is designed for, anyway.
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Avatar_n_tn
Hey--I apologize..that last post sounded snippy.  
Sorry, ladies.  I'm having a crappy day, and I didn't mean to sound rude.
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Avatar_f_tn
Hi just thought I,d say that I agree with Duchess My Gp treated my swollen glands and fever with antibiotics. Obviousely different Gps utilise different methods of treatment. Maybe having a temperature indicates a possible infection .
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Avatar_n_tn
Fever is an indication of infection...your body recognized the foreign body in the blood, the temp. goes up to fight it off.  However, fever is not an indicator of what kind of infection, either viral or bacterial.  A blood test, or culture of some kind is the only way to know for certain what kind of infection you have.
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Avatar_f_tn
I totally agree with you about that. Unfortunately some gps mine included dont test for whats causing it . They just give you antibiotics. I personally think its stupid but hey I,m only a patient so what the heck do I know. Take care chris
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