Tonsillitis is when the tonsils become infected with a virus or bacteria. The tonsils are the two fleshy pads on the sides at the back of the throat.
- Sore throat
- Pain is experienced when swallowing
- Difficulty in swallowing
- White patches appear on tonsils
- Fever and chills
- Enlarged lymph nodes found at the jaws and neck
- Loss of voice
- Children may complain of abdominal pain
Doctors will check for signs of infection, such as redness and pus at the tonsils.
Doctors may also do the following tests:
Throat swab - A sterile swab is rubbed over the back of the throat to get a sample of the secretions. The sample will be checked in the lab for streptococcal bacteria.
Complete blood cell count (CBC) – A blood test known as a CBC may help identify the cause of the infection.
Surgery: Removing the tonsils by surgery (tonsillectomy) may be recommended when other treatments fail to work.
Tonsillectomy is rarely needed for adults. During childhood, surgery may be recommended when a child has had:
Seven or more serious throat infections in one year
Five or more serious throat infections every year over a two-year period
Three or more serious throat infections every year over a three-year period