Differences between bacterial and viral tonsillitis


Tonsillitis, or infection in the tonsils, is one of the most common types of infection in childhood. The tonsils are some glands that are located in the final part of the throat and when these are infected they suffer an inflammation and the appearance of plaques, together with other symptoms such as fever and sore throat.
We can differentiate two different types of tonsillitis. On the one hand we have viral type tonsillitis, and on the other hand, bacterial type.

The main difference that we can find between bacterial and viral tonsillitis is that in the first case the patient would need the use of antibiotics for their cure, while in the opposite case it would not be necessary, although there are many more factors that differentiate one from the other. The symptoms of tonsillitis are slightly different when it comes to a viral or bacterial infection.


Bacterial tonsillitis

Bacterial tonsillitis usually occurs more often in children over the age of five. The main sign of appearance is that it usually causes a very high fever, more than 39º, very quickly and very frequent spikes that can generate chills. In this case, the tonsils are very inflamed and with pus in the superficial zone, which can be diagnosed with only one scan. The lymph nodes are very inflamed and can be noticed with just touch. Finally, it is also very common in this type of tonsillitis to find a kind of red dots in the throat, also called palatal enanthem.
These usually appear, as a rule, in the autumn and winter and this type does not present any symptoms related to the cold or the cold, nor plaques in the throat.


Viral tonsillitis

Viral tonsillitis is a type of throat infection that is much more frequent in children under three years of age. In addition to presenting plaques and severe pain in the throat, it appears along with symptoms such as fever, which in this case is not very high, and signs of colds such as cough, mucus in the nasal passages and red eyes, or conjunctivitis.


When the doctor performs the examination of the tonsils to determine the treatment and type of tonsillitis, if it is the virus typology the tonsils are usually red and very inflamed, but there is no pus. It is quite normal for there to be plaques or small ulcers or vesicles in the back of the throat. This type of tonsillitis is common that we find at any time of the year, it does not need to be autumn or winter to appear in our body.
In some cases, although it is not very frequent, tonsillitis can be derived and complicated in other more serious diseases. The infection may spread in the areas adjacent to the tonsils and degenerate into otitis or sinusitis, which will cause the patient to have to receive intravenous treatment. In the most extreme and less frequent cases, tonsillitis can result in rheumatic fever, inflammation of the kidney or toxic shock.
Detecting tonsillitis is quite simple, for this the specialist doctor will only have to perform a scan, to know what type of tonsillitis is involved. This is going to be fundamental when it comes to curing and treating this disease, since the medicines are not going to be the same. In the case of bacterial tonsillitis, we will include antibiotics in the treatment, and in the case of bacterial tonsillitis, no. Apart from using antibiotics there are also other general recommendations, such as administering anti-inflammatories and analgesics.



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