Bacterial tonsillitis is mostly caused by a streptococcus infection.


Bacterial tonsillitis is mostly caused by a streptococcus infection. Typical symptoms include a very sore throat, pain when swallowing, fever and a feeling of being unwell. Drinking plenty of fluids and staying in bed can provide relief, but antibiotics are often needed to treat severe infections.


Main symptoms

  • Sudden and relatively violent onset
  • Very sore throat and pain when swallowing
  • Fever (can rise suddenly and strongly)
  • Swollen and red palatine tonsils

Other symptoms

  • Swollen lymph nodes in the neck and angle of the jaw, painful when pressed
  • Impaired speech (owing to the pain)


Causes and treatment


Further treatment by your doctor / in hospital

Possible tests
  • What is known as a rapid strep test (swab)
  • Blood test (signs of inflammation)
Possible therapies
  • Painkillers
  • Antibiotics (for bacteria)
  • Operation only in certain situations (removal of tonsils)

What can I do myself?

  • Gargle with salt water
  • Cool throat compresses
  • Drink plenty of fluids
  • Bed rest

When to see a doctor?

  • High fever
  • Very sore throat and pain when swallowing
  • Swelling in the angle of the jaw
  • No improvement after 5 days


adenoitidis, inflammation of the adenoids, tonsil inflammation, angina tonsillaris, Vincent's angina, streptococcal sore throat

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CSS offers no guarantee for the accuracy and completeness of the information. The information published is no substitute for professional advice from a doctor or pharmacist.

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