The infection of throat and tonsils often first manifests itself with a chill, pain in the head and body, loss of appetite, and fever. The temperature may go up to 103° or 104° F. The tongue is usually coated, and the lymph glands at the back and side of the neck will be swollen. Swallowing is painful and even talking may be difficult. When you look at the throat it will appear red, swollen, and often covered with whitish-yellow spots. The symptoms in the throat last three or four days.
Many people seem to have throats that are easily infected with trouble every time they are exposed to cold, fatigue, or sudden changes in climate.
The streptococci arc usually the infecting agent, and, since they are practically always present in the nose and throat of people, the explanation seems to be that they grow and multiply every time the resistance is lowered.
In epidemics, streptococci from infected food or milk or from the hands of food handlers are spread about and attack those who cannot resist. If children have repeated sore throats with infected tonsils, the tonsils may be removed during an intervening period when inflammation is absent.
An abscess in the tissues around the tonsils is called quinsy. The doctor relieves the pain and swelling by puncturing the abscess and getting the accumulated pus out.
All streptococcal infections of the throat should be taken seriously because of the great danger of secondary rheumatic fever, arthritis, middle ear infection, or other complications. The sulfonamide drugs and penicillin, also aureomycin and terramycin, act powerfully against streptococci, and already the total number of severe and complicated cases has been greatly reduced.