Bacterial tonsillitis is mostly caused by a streptococcus infection.


Bacterial tonsillitis is mostly caused by a streptococcus infection. Typical symptoms include a very sore throat, pain when swallowing, fever and a feeling of being unwell. Drinking plenty of fluids and staying in bed can provide relief, but antibiotics are often needed to treat severe infections.


Main symptoms

  • Sudden and relatively violent onset
  • Very sore throat and pain when swallowing
  • Fever (can rise suddenly and strongly)
  • Swollen and red palatine tonsils

Other symptoms

  • Swollen lymph nodes in the neck and angle of the jaw, painful when pressed
  • Impaired speech (owing to the pain)


Causes and treatment


Further treatment by your doctor / in hospital

Possible tests
  • What is known as a rapid strep test (swab)
  • Blood test (signs of inflammation)
Possible therapies
  • Painkillers
  • Antibiotics (for bacteria)
  • Operation only in certain situations (removal of tonsils)

What can I do myself?

  • Gargle with salt water
  • Cool throat compresses
  • Drink plenty of fluids
  • Bed rest

When to see a doctor?

  • High fever
  • Very sore throat and pain when swallowing
  • Swelling in the angle of the jaw
  • No improvement after 5 days


adenoitidis, inflammation of the adenoids, tonsil inflammation, angina tonsillaris, Vincent's angina, streptococcal sore throat

Exclusion of liability

CSS offers no guarantee for the accuracy and completeness of the information. The information published is no substitute for professional advice from a doctor or pharmacist.

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