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What is tonsillitis?

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At the back of your throat, two masses of tissue called tonsils act as filters, trapping germs that could otherwise enter your airways and cause infection. They also produce antibodies to fight infection, but sometimes the tonsils themselves become infected. Overwhelmed by bacteria or viruses, they swell and become inflamed, a condition known as tonsillitis.

Tonsillitis is common, especially in children. The condition can occur occasionally or recur frequently.

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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