Patient: Dear ask a doctor:I have had a recurrent sore throat now for almost 3 weeks. About 14 days ago I was given amoxicillin 500 mg for what one doctor might have thought my sore throat was strep. It cleared up my sore throat almost immediately. Unfortunately, I was silly and only finished 8 out of the 10 days because I received a nasty yeast infection last Thursday (which I’m still fighting on day 6 after using many OTC products including fluconazole 150 mg and canesten 3 day treatment). Two days later on Saturday the nasty sore throat has returned and has gotten progressively worse each passing day. Yesterday I decided to see an on-call doctor since my family physician is on vacation. He gave me a rapid strep test which came back negative and said it’s probably viral. However, I have a hard time believing this is viral when antibiotics worked so well 10 days ago on the same type of sore throat. I have no other respiratory symptoms to accompany this sore throat, no cough, runny nose or congestion. I am coughing up yellow/green phlegm now and it feels like there are glass shards in my throat. I have also been suffering from an on and off fever the past 2 days now as well averaging around 99-100 degrees. Today has to be the worst day yet. I can barely swallow and talking it starting to hurt too. I looked in the back of my throat and tonsils and I can see white patches on my tonsils and it’s very red & inflammed. I’m debating on getting a cultured test tomorrow at a walk-in clinic. Do you think this is viral or bacterial? I’m starting to wonder.
Symptoms: Severe sore throat, difficulty swallowing, coughing up yellow-green chunks of phlegm and fever.
Doctor: Dear Allison,The throat infection that lasts more than 2 weeks, causes fever and such degree of inflammation is likely to be bacterial, though rare viral infections like infectious mononucleosus can be severe.Anti septic gargling syrups and warm saline gargles can provide symptomatic relief.You will need higher antiobiotics after throat cultures.Did you by any chance happen to travel out somewhere, where diphtheria is prevalent??A