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How is tonsillitis treated?

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Treatment for tonsillitis will depend in part on the cause. To determine the cause, your doctor may perform a rapid strep test or throat swab culture. Both tests involve gently swabbing the back of the throat close to the tonsils with a cotton swab. A lab test can detect a bacterial infection. A viral infection will not show on the test, but may be assumed if the test for bacteria is negative. In some cases, the physical findings are convincing enough to diagnose a probable bacterial infection. In these cases, your doctor may prescribe antibiotics without performing a rapid strep test.

SOURCES:

Kliegman R.M., Behrman R.E., Jenson H.B., Stanton B.F., eds., 18th ed., Philadelphia, Saunders Elsevier, 2007. Nelson Textbook of Pediatrics,

American Academy of Otolaryngology -- Head and Neck Surgery: "Tonsils and Adenoids."

Nemours Foundation: "Tonsillitis."

University of Virginia Health System: "Tonsillitis."

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise: "Rapid strep test for strep throat," "Throat culture."

American Academy of Otolaryngology -- Head and Neck Surgery: "Fact Sheet: Tonsillectomy Procedures," "Fact Sheet: Fact Sheet: Tonsils and Adenoids PostOp."

Reviewed by Carol DerSarkissian on March 10, 2019

SOURCES:

Kliegman R.M., Behrman R.E., Jenson H.B., Stanton B.F., eds., 18th ed., Philadelphia, Saunders Elsevier, 2007. Nelson Textbook of Pediatrics,

American Academy of Otolaryngology -- Head and Neck Surgery: "Tonsils and Adenoids."

Nemours Foundation: "Tonsillitis."

University of Virginia Health System: "Tonsillitis."

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise: "Rapid strep test for strep throat," "Throat culture."

American Academy of Otolaryngology -- Head and Neck Surgery: "Fact Sheet: Tonsillectomy Procedures," "Fact Sheet: Fact Sheet: Tonsils and Adenoids PostOp."

Reviewed by Carol DerSarkissian on March 10, 2019

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