The sore throat: a clinical approach to tonsillopharyngitis
Acute sore throat is a common complaint encountered by medical practitioners and health care workers routinely. The disease is mostly caused by viral infections of the upper respiratory tract and is usually self limiting. Symptoms rarely exceed two weeks, irrespective of the cause. Group A beta-haemolytic streptococci accounts for the majority of bacterial instances of tonsillopharyngitis. Clinical examination is not always adequate to diagnose bacterial infections, resulting in the irrational and over-prescribing of antibiotics, especially in upper respiratory tract infections, contributing to communal antimicrobial bacterial resistance. A few scoring systems are available to assist physicians in deciding on the aetiology without resorting to unnecessary laboratory investigations. This article briefly reviews the scoring systems and antimicrobial management of streptococcal throat infections.