Coronavirus symptoms: Pharyngitis is a symptom of COVID-19 – what is it?

The latest information regarding COVID-19 cases include 219,183 infections with 31,855 deaths. As cases continue to rise, a slight ease of government rules was announced last night by Prime Minister Boris Johnson with more freedom to leave houses and be outdoors. However, monitoring symptoms and being vigilant with not only your own health but those living with you remains extremely important.


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Coronavirus common symptoms, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO) include fever, tiredness, and a dry cough.

However other symptoms of the virus include shortness of breath, aches and pains and gastrointestinal issues including nausea and diarrhoea.

Almost weekly, new, and unusual first signs of the deadly virus are being reported by people prior to testing positive.

An important reason to be aware of all potential symptoms including pharyngitis.

What is pharyngitis?

John Hopkins medicine said: “Pharyngitis is an inflammation of the pharynx resulting in a sore throat.

“Thus, pharyngitis is a symptom rather than a condition.

“Most often it is caused by viral and/or bacterial infections like the common cold and flu or by infection with the streptococcus bacterium.

“Pharyngitis can also occur with a viral infection.

“Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) can lead to chronic sore throat because of stomach acid reflux irritating the throat.”

The WHO has said that a sore throat can sometimes be a symptom of coronavirus.

The organisation explained: “Some patients may have aches and pains, nasal congestion, sore throat or diarrhoea.

“However, it has not been listed as one of the most common symptoms of the virus.

“If you do have a sore throat it could also be a sign of other illnesses such as a cold or flu – which share similar symptoms to COVID-19 – or an unrelated infection such as tonsillitis.


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Dr Michael Lerner, a Yale Medicine laryngologist said: “Sore throat can be caused by viral or bacterial infections.

“It can be due to other inflammatory conditions like allergies, post-nasal drip and even acid reflux, or can be due to something as simple as dryness or dehydration.

“Stress is known to aggravate all sorts of pain and this is also true with sore throat.

“Currently, we estimate that sore throat occurs in about ten percent of coronavirus cases.”

In terms of treatment of a sore throat due to COVID-19 or any other viral infection, Dr Lerner reassures that it will improve on its own as the virus runs its course.

However, “supportive measures” such as drinking plenty of water, using throat lozenges and using humidifiers will all help.

If you are worried about symptoms, it is advised to go through the NHS 111 online service.

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