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How does tonsillitis develop?

Updated April 25, 2019

Viral infections are extremely contagious. That means that someone who is infected with a viral infection that causes tonsillitis can give it to someone else. This happens when two people are close enough to each other to spread the infection through contact. This could be as simple as shaking hands, which carry all kinds of germs. Two viral infections that cause tonsillitis are the Epstein-Barr virus and the Adenovirus. Once those viruses are caught they begin to develop and the individual will start to feel tired, with a soreness in the back of the throat.

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Tonsillitis can also be caught because of a bacterial infection. The bacteria build up in the back of the throat and begin to grow. The most common bacterial infection that leads to tonsillitis is Group A streptococcal bacteria. This is also called strep throat, and it can lead to tonsillitis. Bacterial tonsillitis can be treated with antibiotics; viral infections can not.


The most immediate treatment can be done at home. This includes the old-fashioned method of gargling with warm salt water. An individual can also begin taking ibuprofen for pain. Ibuprofen also helps reduce inflammation. Sore throat sprays and drops can help ease a little of the pain. The individual should then consult a doctor to get some antibiotics. he doctor can also prescribe a mouthwash that helps numb the area so the pain isn't so bad. If a person continues to get tonsillitis, he may have to get his tonsils removed.

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About the Author

Alicia Bodine

Alicia Bodine has been a professional writer for 13 years. She has produced thousands of articles for online publications such as Demand Studios, GoBankingRates and WiseGeek. Bodine is passionate about gardening, travel, education and finance. She has received awards for being a top content producer.

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