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What is it?
The tonsils are two glands at the back of the throat. The pharynx is the part of the throat between the tonsils and the vocal chords. Tonsillitis and pharyngitis refer to inflammation of these parts respectively.
Symptoms: Sore throat, difficulty in swallowing, glands in the neck may be swollen, fever, bad breath, headache and malaise, young children may complain of abdominal pain.
Causes: Bacterial or viral infection, tonsillitis and pharyngitis are more prevalent during the winter months.
Possible complications: Abscess formation, scarlet fever, rheumatic heart disease, kidney infection.
Treatment in the home: Take aspirin or paracetamol in recommended doses to relieve pain. Do not give aspirin to children under 12 years of age, drink plenty of fluids.
When to consult a doctor: If the symptoms persist for longer than two days, if a child develops any of the following symptoms: Temperature over 39°C, abnormally fast, noisy or difficult breathing, rash, and earache.
What the doctor may do: Examine the throat, arrange for a swab test to identify the exact cause of the infection, prescribe antibiotic treatment if there is bacterial infection, and recommend surgical removal of the tonsils if the attacks are so severe and frequent that they affect general health.

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