Illnesses and Antibiotic Resistance
Most sore throats are caused by a virus. Only throat infections caused by Group A strep bacteria need an antibiotic.
Will antibiotics help?
- Not usually.
- Most sore throats are caused by a virus and antibiotics will not help.
- Only throat infections caused by Group A strep bacteria need an antibiotic.
- Your health care provider can do a lab test and if Group A strep bacteria is present and prescribe an antibiotic.
What can you do if you or your child have a sore throat?
- You need lots of extra rest.
- Drink plenty of fluids (water and juice) and eat healthy foods.
- Take acetaminophen* for muscle aches or fever.
- Cough syrup* may relieve cough symptoms.
- Throat losenges (for older children and adults only) can ease a sore throat.
- A cool mist vaporizer may help too.
* Follow package directions for age & dose or your health care providers’ instructions.
- Viral infections (like chest colds, acute bronchitis, and most sore throats) resolve on their own but symptoms can last several days or as long as a couple weeks.
More about sore throats: