For most patients w/normal immune systems, eg no HIV/AIDS, cancer or taking steroids, sore throat usually caused by either virus or bacteria. Most of time, viral sore throats are much more common. We do worry about strep throat since it can lead to kidney problems if left alone. We use Centor criteria to help decide which adults to screen & treat in typical emergency department setting. Best to go see your family physician to get a better idea of which is which.
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