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Quick Dose: When is a Sore Throat a Sign of Something Serious?

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A sore throat can be extremely painful – and bothersome. It can be the first sign of a cold, but it may also represent other underlying causes, including allergies, strep throat and sinus infections. See your physician when your throat is severely sore or red; it’s painful to swallow; or you have a fever over 101 degrees that lasts longer than two days. Other symptoms may include headache, stomachache, pus on the tonsils or a red, sandpaper-like rash. Your physician will most likely swab your throat and do a rapid strep test to determine the best treatment option.

David Fox, MD, primary care physician, Northwestern Medicine Primary and Specialty Care Lavin