Inflammation of the tonsils is known as tonsillitis. It is caused by a viral or a bacterial infection. The main symptom is a sore throat with dysphagia. Other symptoms are fever, cough, headache, fatigue, swollen lymph nodes in the neck and changed voice. Most cases are caused by a virus e.g. rhinovirus or the influenza virus. Bacteria can also cause tonsillitis, e.g. streptococci. Diagnosis is made on the basis of clinical signs and symptoms. Treatment is usually symptomatic. Antibiotics are prescribed when tonsillitis is caused by bacterial infection. A tonsillectomy is performed in severe and persistent cases.
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