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Dry cough strep throat: Strep Throat | Johns Hopkins Medicine

Strep Throat | Johns Hopkins Medicine

Strep throat is a common and contagious bacterial infection. It appears most often in school-age children and their younger siblings.

What You Need to Know

  • Strep throat is common, especially among children ages 5 to 15.
  • Strep throat symptoms include sore throat, swollen glands and fever.
  • It is diagnosed with a throat swab test.
  • Once it is confirmed, strep throat can be treated with antibiotics to ease symptoms, control spread and prevent complications.

What Is Strep Throat?

Strep throat is an infectious illness. Its symptoms include a painful sore throat, fever and swollen glands.

Strep throat is common, especially in children ages 5 to 15, but older teens and adults can get it also, especially if they live or work with children in crowded conditions. Strep is rare in babies and young children under age 3.

Strep throat accounts for about 30% of sore throats in children, and 5% to 15% of sore throats in adults. Most sore throats in both children and adults are not strep throat, but viral infections caused by viruses.

Strep Throat Symptoms

The main symptom of strep throat in both adults and children is throat pain (pharyngitis) that may develop quickly, two to five days after exposure to the bacteria.

Other strep throat symptoms:

  • Pain when swallowing
  • Fever
  • Swollen glands in the neck
  • Red spots (petechiae) on the roof of the mouth
  • Red rash on the body (scarlet fever)
  • Headache
  • Swollen tonsils
  • Red or white streaks in throat or on tonsils
  • Gastrointestinal symptoms such as stomach pain, nausea or vomiting. (These are more common in children.)

Does Strep Throat Cause Cough?

Cough is generally not a symptom of strep throat. Cough, hoarseness, runny nose, reddened eyes and other symptoms may point to a viral respiratory infection.

Can Someone Have Strep Without Fever or Sore Throat?

Yes. Some who have strep may be asymptomatic ― they may not feel sick ― but still capable of spreading the germ. However, a person is much more likely to be contagious if they have strep throat symptoms.

Strep Throat Diagnosis

To diagnose strep throat, a doctor uses one of two tests: a rapid strep test or a throat culture. Both start with the practitioner swabbing the patient’s throat with a cotton-tipped swab.

A rapid strep test can show results quickly but may not be as accurate as a throat culture, which tests to see if strep bacteria grow from the sample collected on the swab.

If a rapid strep test is negative in a patient with signs of strep throat, the doctor may recommend a culture to make sure the infection wasn’t missed on the rapid test. This is especially important in children, who can develop a complication of untreated strep throat called rheumatic fever. Antibiotics should not be used to treat a sore throat if a rapid strep test or throat culture is negative.

Sore Throat: Other Causes

Viral infections are a more common cause of sore throat than strep bacteria, so if strep tests are negative, a viral infection may be the culprit. Viral throat infections may include additional symptoms such as cough, runny nose or inflamed eyes. Antibiotic treatment does not kill viruses, so doctors generally do not prescribe antibiotics for viral throat infections.

Allergies, breathing dry or polluted air, gastroesophageal reflux disorder (GERD) and other conditions also can cause sore throat.

Is Strep Throat Contagious?

Yes, strep throat is contagious. The illness can spread quickly from person to person in households, classrooms, day care facilities, military training camps and other settings where groups of people are close to one another, particularly where children are present.

How Long is Strep Contagious?

People taking antibiotics for strep throat become less contagious over 24 to 48 hours. A person with untreated strep can infect others for two or three weeks.

How Do You Get Strep Throat?

The bacteria that cause strep throat are easily spread by the oral and nasal secretions and droplets of an infected person. These droplets can be released into the air when an infected person coughs, sneezes, talks, laughs or sings. The bacteria can live in traces of an infected person’s saliva or nasal discharge.

People catch strep throat from others by:

  • Inhaling droplets in the air
  • Touching an infected surface and then transferring the bacteria to the nose or mouth by hand
  • Touching infected skin lesions
  • Sharing cups, plates, glasses or eating utensils with an infected person
  • Improper food handling (this is very rare)

When inhaled or swallowed, the strep bacteria invade the cells in the throat. Strep throat symptoms may appear two to five days after exposure.

Strep Throat Treatment

Antibiotics are the standard treatment for strep throat. When a person takes antibiotics for strep throat, symptoms are likely to improve within a day or two. However, it is very important to take the entire course of medications to ensure the infection is completely controlled and to lessen the chance of complications. Taking antibiotics as directed will also ease discomfort and help avoid contagious spread.

Strep A: The Germ That Causes Strep Throat

The bacteria that cause strep throat are strains of the Streptococcus family called strep A or Streptococcus pyogenes (S pyogenes). Strep A bacteria can cause other illnesses, such as:

  • Impetigo: a skin infection that most commonly affects young children
  • Scarlet fever: a red body rash associated with strep infection
  • Cellulitis: a deep infection of the skin caused by bacteria
  • Necrotizing fasciitis: a rare and potentially deadly infection
  • Toxic shock syndrome: a bacterial infection of the blood that spreads toxins to the organs of the body

Invasive Strep Group A: iGAS

A form of strep A called invasive group A streptococcus, or iGAS, can cause aggressive infections such as cellulitis, necrotizing fasciitis and toxic shock syndrome. During the winter of 2022 – 2023, the CDC noted an increase in iGAS infections observed in children.

In addition to the conditions noted above, iGAS has caused a severe form of pneumonia, septic shock, meningitis, brain abscesses, empyema and even death.

Parents, caregivers and medical practitioners should remain alert for worsening symptoms of strep A infections in children and other at-risk groups, including adults with compromised immune systems, people who have just given birth and surgical patients.

Can I Get a Strep Vaccine?

No. Developing a vaccine for strep throat is challenging because there are many different strains of strep A, the bacteria that causes the illness. An effective vaccine would have to help the body create immunity from all the different kinds. Theoretically, this is possible, but more research and development will be needed before a strep throat shot can become a reality.

How Long Does Strep Throat Last?

Most cases of strep throat last three to five days. It’s important to remember that treatment with antibiotics is strongly recommended to reduce transmission, ease symptoms and avoid complications. Once a person with strep throat has been taking antibiotics for 24 hours and has no fever, they can return to work, school or daycare and not worry about infecting others.

Strep Throat Complications

Most children and adults with strep throat recover completely after taking all their antibiotics as directed. However, in rare cases, the disease can become more serious and complications can occur, including:

Rheumatic fever and rheumatic heart disease can cause inflammation that permanently damages to the heart valves, as well as painful knees and ankles, rashes, and other symptoms.

Kidney inflammation and autoimmune inflammatory arthritis affecting the joints are other potential problems that can arise from a strep infection.

Causes, treatments, and home remedies

Coughing is a natural reflex for clearing the throat and lungs of irritants. Infection is a common reason for a dry cough, but other causes range from a post-nasal drip to lung cancer.

A dry or sometimes tickly cough is a cough that does not bring up any phlegm or mucus. Dry coughs may cause a tickling sensation and are often due to irritation in the throat.

Doctors often refer to dry coughs as non-productive coughs. In contrast, a wet, or productive, cough brings up phlegm that helps clear the airways of irritants.

Doctors also classify coughs as either acute or chronic. A cough is chronic if it lasts longer than 8 weeks, according to the American Lung Association.

In this article, we describe some of the possible causes of a dry cough and the treatment options. We also discuss diagnosis, general treatments, prevention tips, and when to see a doctor.

Various infections, diseases, and other factors can lead to a dry cough.

COVID-19 and other coronavirus infections

COVID-19 is one disease that results from infection with a coronavirus. Others include severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS). They can all involve a dry cough.

COVID-19 is caused by the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2.

The most common symptoms are:

  • a fever
  • a cough, which may be dry
  • fatigue

People may also have:

  • body aches
  • nasal congestion, a runny nose, or both
  • a sore throat
  • diarrhea
  • changes in the senses of taste and smell

In time, a person may develop chest pain and difficulty breathing. COVID-19 can be fatal for some people. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend vaccinations for most people aged 5 years and over to reduce the risk of developing symptoms.

Learn more about COVID-19 and other coronaviruses.


There is currently no cure for COVID-19, but acetaminophen may help relieve symptoms. People should rest at home and keep as far away from other people as possible.

Some people have an underlying condition that increases their risk of developing severe illness. For these people, a doctor may prescribe:

  • Paxlovid (Nirmatrelvir with Ritonavi): Paxlovid is an antiviral that people can take at home by mouth. They need to start it within 5 days of symptoms appearing. It is suitable for people aged 12 years and over.
  • Remdesivir (Veklury): Remdesivir is an antiviral that comes as an intravenous infusion given at a healthcare facility. People need to start taking it within 7 days of symptoms appearing, for 3 days in a row.
  • Molnupiravir (Lagevrio): Molnupiravir is an oral antiviral for adults. People need to start it within 5 days of symptoms appearing.

If a person experiences a medical emergency, such as breathing difficulties, they need emergency medical attention. Someone should call 911 and ask for advice. The person may need to spend time in the hospital.

Learn about treatment options for COVID-19.


Asthma is a long-term lung condition that leads to inflammation and narrowing of the airways. One of the most common symptoms of asthma is coughing, which is often worse at night or early in the morning when a person first wakes up.

The cough is often productive, meaning a person brings up phlegm. However, in a type of asthma called cough-variant asthma, the main symptom people experience is a dry cough.

Other symptoms of asthma can include:

  • wheezing
  • shortness of breath
  • chest tightness or pain

Learn about home remedies for wheezing.


There is currently no cure for asthma, so treatment focuses on relieving symptoms and preventing future attacks.

Typically, doctors prescribe the following treatments for people with asthma:

  • a quick-relief inhaler containing a bronchodilator, such as a short-acting beta-2-agonist, for treating symptoms when they flare-up
  • long-term medications, such as a low dose corticosteroid inhaler, to reduce inflammation and lower the risk of future attacks

Learn about treatments for asthma.

Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis

Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) is a condition in which scar tissue develops inside a person’s lungs. As the scar tissue thickens, it makes breathing in air increasingly difficult. The term idiopathic means that doctors do not know exactly what causes the condition.

One of the most common symptoms of IPF is a persistent, dry cough. Other symptoms can include:

  • shortness of breath
  • loss of appetite and gradual weight loss
  • fatigue
  • clubbing, or widening and rounding of the tips of the fingers or toes
  • changes in nail shapes

In time, lung scarring can occur, leading to further complications.


There is currently no cure for IPF, so the aim of treatment is to relieve a person’s symptoms and slow disease progression.

Treatment options for IPF include:

  • medications such as pirfenidone and nintedanib
  • oxygen therapy
  • pulmonary rehabilitation, which is a program of exercises, training, and support for people with long-term lung conditions
  • lung transplantation

Learn about lung scarring and idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis.

Gastroesophageal reflux disease

Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is a condition where acid leaks from the stomach back up into the esophagus, or food pipe.

According to a 2015 review, GERD causes a chronic, dry cough in up to 40% of people with the condition.

GERD typically also causes a number of gastrointestinal symptoms, which may include:

  • heartburn
  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • pain or difficulty when swallowing
  • bad breath

However, research suggests that up 75% of people with GERD-related cough may not experience these gastrointestinal symptoms. This can make it difficult for doctors to diagnose GERD in people with just a chronic, dry cough.


Many people can manage symptoms of GERD through lifestyle changes, such as:

  • eating multiple small meals each day instead of three large meals
  • avoiding eating too soon before bed
  • limiting or avoiding foods that trigger or worsen symptoms, such as fatty or spicy foods
  • maintaining a moderate weight
  • quitting tobacco smoking
  • reducing or avoiding alcohol intake

Over-the-counter (OTC) and prescription medicines, such as antacids, h3-receptor blockers, and proton pump inhibitors, may help relieve or prevent symptoms. In some cases, surgery may be necessary.

Postnasal drip

Postnasal drip is when mucus from the nose and sinuses drips down the back of the throat.

When the mucus drips into the throat, it can trigger a cough. Although this cough is often productive, it can sometimes also be dry. This will depend on how much mucus there is and how fast it is draining.

Postnasal drip may occur with a sinus infection, GERD, or a nasal allergy, such as hay fever.

Other symptoms of postnasal drip may include:

  • runny nose
  • a feeling of something in the back of the throat
  • a sore throat
  • frequent swallowing

Treatment options for postnasal drip include:

  • decongestants
  • nasal sprays
  • nasal and sinus irrigation
  • drinking fluids
  • treatment for GERD, if appropriate
  • treatment for an underlying condition, for example, an infection or allergy

Upper respiratory infections

Upper respiratory infections, such as common colds and the flu, can cause acute coughing. The cough often starts out productive. However, it may become dry as a person recovers from the infections.

Other symptoms of upper respiratory infections may include:

  • a fever
  • muscle aches
  • runny nose
  • sore throat

A person can usually treat viral upper respiratory infections at home with:

  • rest
  • staying hydrated
  • taking OTC medications to relieve congestion, aches, and fever
  • taking antihistamines, if a doctor advises it

A doctor may prescribe an antiviral medication for people with the flu or COVID-19. For a bacterial infection, such as strep throat, they may prescribe antibiotics.

Lung cancer

A chronic, dry cough can sometimes be a symptom of lung cancer. However, other causes of dry cough are far more common.

Symptoms of lung cancer can include:

  • coughing up blood or phlegm that contains blood
  • chest pain that may get worse with breathing or coughing
  • weight loss
  • shortness of breath
  • fatigue
  • feeling weak

Treatment depends on the type and stage of the lung cancer. Early diagnosis and treatment can significantly improve a person’s outlook

Treatment options can include:

  • surgery
  • radiofrequency ablation
  • chemotherapy
  • radiation therapy
  • immunotherapy
  • targeted drug therapy
  • palliative care

Other causes

Other causes of a dry cough can include:

  • cigarette smoking
  • prolonged exposure to pollutants, such as dust and irritating chemicals
  • allergies
  • some medications, such as ACE-inhibitor drugs for high blood pressure
  • whooping cough
  • a collapsed or punctured lung (pneumothorax)
  • heart failure

To diagnose the cause of a dry cough, a doctor will usually begin by asking about a person’s symptoms and medical history. They will then perform a physical examination.

A doctor may also need to order some tests to help with their diagnosis. These may include:

  • Imaging tests: An X-ray or CT scan creates an image of the inside of the chest that allows doctors to check for problems.
  • Spirometry: This involves breathing into a plastic device to check a person’s lung functioning. Doctors use spirometry to help diagnose conditions such as asthma or IPF.
  • Endoscopy: An endoscope is a long, thin tube with a camera and light on the end. With upper gastrointestinal endoscopy, doctors can insert the tube through a person’s mouth and down the throat to check for problems inside the esophagus, stomach, and part of the small intestine. In a bronchoscopy, the doctor inserts a tube through the mouth and looks at the windpipe and airways.

It is not always possible to prevent a dry cough.

However, tips that can help include:

  • avoiding smoking and exposure to tobacco smoke
  • avoiding exposure to air pollutants as much as possible
  • drinking plenty of water
  • using a humidifier to moisten the air
  • allergy-proofing the bedroom to reduce irritants
  • avoiding asthma triggers
  • asking about flu, whooping cough, COVID-19, and other vaccinations
  • staying away from people with an infection
  • practice frequent handwashing

People with dry coughs that get worse, do not go away, or cause one to start producing blood or green mucus should see a doctor.

People should also see a doctor if a dry cough occurs with any of the following symptoms:

  • wheezing
  • a feeling that something is stuck in the throat
  • shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • trouble swallowing

It is also best to see a doctor if a cough lasts longer than 8 weeks. It could be a sign of an underlying condition that needs medical attention.

Here are the answers to some questions people ask about a dry cough.

How do you cure a dry cough?

The treatment will depend on the cause. However, lozenges and cough suppressants can often help manage a dry cough. It may also help to drink plenty of fluids and use a humidifier.

Does COVID start with dry cough?

A cough can be an early sign of COVID-19. Other signs include congestion, a fever and chills, fatigue, and changes in the sense of taste or smell.

Is a dry cough serious?

This will depend on the underlying cause. Often, a dry cough will pass with rest and hydration in around 3 weeks. However, COVID-19, strep throat, allergies, and GERD can all lead to complications if people do not receive treatment.

If you have concerns about a dry cough or if a cough lasts longer than 8 weeks, it is best to seek medical advice.

A dry cough is one that does not produce phlegm or mucus. Dry coughs are often temporary and rarely a cause for concern. However, a chronic, dry cough may be a symptom of an underlying condition, such as asthma or GERD.

Treating the underlying cause is the best way of reducing the severity and frequency of chronic coughs. However, OTC remedies may also help relieve symptoms.

People should see a doctor for dry coughs that do not get better or if they start to cough up blood.

Read the article in Spanish.

Cough with angina, its features and methods of treatment

Cough with angina is a fairly common phenomenon. It appears as a result of a bacterial infection that must be completely destroyed. Irritation of the throat is due to active microorganisms, from the fight against this, a strong separation of mucus occurs. It washes away the infection, which often enters the lungs and bronchi.


Cough with angina performs a useful function for the body: cleansing from pathogens and their metabolic products. The natural reflex is essential for maintaining health. If the infection is blocked, it can freely enter the lungs, the stomach settles on the bronchi. After such a result, treatment with antibiotics is required, which have side effects after a course of taking them.

Cough in angina occurs due to irritation of the larynx. It can be dry and wet. It is strictly not recommended to block a dry cough, the infection must leave the body. Give money for expectorant action.

Sore throat cough should be properly treated under medical supervision. With the wrong approach, mild discomfort ended the treatment in the hospital. Complications can be avoided if the development of inflammation is correctly diagnosed.


Cough with tonsillitis in children and adults means only one thing – the beginning of a serious complication. It must be treated after receiving tests to confirm the diagnosis. the protective reflex is classified by doctors, depending on the type of cough, the appropriate therapy is selected:

  • If there is a sore throat, cough, fever with normal, then the viral nature of the inflammation is assumed. With the most common dry cough, an expectorant is simultaneously prescribed.
  • In the presence of mucus, sputum and sore throat, a bacterial lesion of the larynx or a fungal infection is judged.
  • Deep dry cough with angina requires more thorough examination. With the help of ultrasound, X-ray, MRI methods. Doctors prescribe a medicine only after receiving a complete picture of the patient’s condition.

Remember that cough and sore throat can have two different causes. a dangerous condition is a dry form of the disorder that requires more careful monitoring of the patient. For this reason, the patient may be admitted to the hospital to determine the cause of the health problems.

How does the complication proceed?

Sore throat after childbirth is quite common. When inflammation in the throat undermines the immune system, bacteria begin to multiply twice as fast. A dry cough develops, complicating the situation: dry, dusty air, high temperature, dirt.

In the evening, when the bacteria in the throat are free to fall, so the most severe coughing attacks occur at this time. Microorganisms capture the entire nasopharynx, causing a runny nose. This exacerbates an already difficult situation. Rhinitis, a chronic disease that periodically makes itself felt, may appear.

Angina itself brings a lot of unpleasant moments for the patient: sore throat, swelling. To this are added difficulties when coughing: constant irritation and discomfort in the sternum, pain radiates to the eyes and ears. Rhinitis interferes with normal breathing and affects the entire body.


Angina is one of the dangerous diseases. Many people underestimate its consequences if not treated and the disease is not put on its feet. First of all, it gives complications to the heart. Damage to other internal organs. For the health of the body, it is important to provide peace of mind, to give the opportunity to fight infection.

Important for immune system support and use of antibacterial drugs. Continue treatment after symptoms disappear to avoid residual infection, which can then reactivate and cause similar inflammation.

Active care at the time of inflammation

If you notice the first signs of sore throat and cough, especially immediately start inhalations, antiseptic rinses. The following means can help the population: milk with honey. A solution of sea salt does not allow pathogenic microorganisms to be brought onto the mucous root.

Elimination of bad habits. Tobacco smoking opens the way for more dangerous infections in your body. An important component of treatment is the absence of overload. Even ordinary walking in the acute phase of angina is fraught with complications.

Appropriate diet to fight inflammation

It is important to regulate potency and therefore cough will go away after a sore throat. How to treat a sore throat is up to your doctor. He or she will evaluate your health and order additional tests to rule out the possibility of complications.

The intestine affects the immune system. Poor nutrition and indiscriminate eating leads to a decrease in the protective barrier. Bacteria love sweets, fermentation in the digestive system is enhanced by stale food. Salted and smoked foods violate the composition of normal microflora.

At the first signs of a sore throat and cough, we recommend a diet: eat light soups, exclude flour from the diet and replace it with breadcrumbs. The rich cook porridge, buy fruits and fruit juices. It is better to refrain from the fried second, replacing it with a side dish, steamed or boiled.

Pharmaceutical care

See a doctor if you have a cough, sore throat in children. How to treat, it will become clear after determining the nature of the pathogens that affected the mucous membrane. The fungus is removed by some drugs, viral infections by others.

Antibiotics are generally not taken unless the complication is severe. However, the appointment of drugs for young children is necessary, their immune system is still too weak to destroy bacteria on their own. Doctors consider the compatibility of drugs for sore throat and cough. It is not worth choosing without the advice of a doctor.

To destroy microbes in the body, penicillin, azithromycin are prescribed. If the cough has already begun, you still have to take potent drugs. Also used for gargling and taking vitamins.

What helps fight infection?

Gargle every 2 hours. For this, solutions of sea salt with iodine drops, herbal teas, diluted sodium bicarbonate, alcohol pharmacy tinctures are suitable. For the treatment of cough in children, syrups are used that soothe fees.

The body needs a lot of fluid to carry the breakdown products of microorganisms. It is recommended to give the patient warm fruit drinks, fruit drinks and lemon water in large quantities. It is better not to give soda to children, the benefits of this will not be accurate.

Fresh berries are a good remedy for sore throats. They can also help pain relief lozenges for sore throats.

How to relieve pain and redness in the throat?

To make it easier to swallow, use folk wisdom. To relieve soreness, dryness of the mucous membranes, the following products are used:

  • fresh lemon peel.
  • Raspberry is useful for sore throat.
  • Warm beer treats sore throat and kills bacteria. However, it is only used to treat adults.
  • Herbal decoctions: nettle, chamomile, thyme.

It is recommended to treat cough in the hospital with inhalations, and at home with folk remedies. Suitable warm milk with honey, compresses, mustard plasters in the absence of heat. Ordinary vodka helps, which is moistened with gauze and applied to the chest through a sheet of cellophane. Put a warm blanket on top of the patient, a handkerchief for half an hour.

The effect is best if you go to bed immediately afterwards. Vitamin C helps support the immune system. It is contained in the pharmacy ascorbic acid, citrus fruits. Garlic drops help fight infections in the nasal passages. Beetroot juice improves the immune system in general.

Suppression of the cough reflex must be justified. For this, drugs from the following groups are used: narcotic, non-narcotic. The last suitable for the treatment of children are “Tusuprex”, “Sinekod”. The principle of action is based on blocking the brain receptors responsible for the reaction to throat irritation.

Among expectorants, the principle of action is as follows: potassium bicarbonate, licorice root, calendula, ammonium chloride. The combination of drugs with folk remedies can and should be to enhance the effect. Carrot juice with honey, beetroot juice with vinegar, and radish juice have a positive effect. Sore throat is relieved by figs with milk. The treatment also uses warm milk with butter, banana, propolis or garlic.

Is there a cough with angina?


  • When is angina accompanied by a cough?
  • Cough as a complication after tonsillitis
  • Treatment

The classic inflammation of the palatine tonsils (angina or acute tonsillitis) is a disease that does not in itself cause a cough reflex. A cough with angina indicates either a misdiagnosis or an additional infection or complication. The treatment of such a “set” of symptoms should be approached comprehensively, starting with diagnostic studies.

A child’s cough is an indicator of trouble in the respiratory organs or airways. It occurs when special “cough” receptors are irritated. These receptors can be affected by:

  1. In children – inflammatory processes, mechanical “interference”, an allergic reaction or sudden changes in the air (temperature, humidity).
  2. In adults, smoking and harmful working conditions are added to the above reasons.

From the point of view of theory, acute tonsillitis is not a “provocateur” of cough. The inflammatory process is localized exclusively in the tonsils, in which there are no cough receptors. In practice, however, the situation is often quite the opposite. Before proceeding with treatment, you should find out the exact nature of this symptom.

A dry cough is one of the signs of a sore throat.

When is angina accompanied by a cough?

Inflammatory process that occurs in the lungs, bronchi, trachea, larynx, vocal cords may be accompanied by a cough. And any of them can occur simultaneously with a sore throat. Inflammations in the pharynx and larynx are very similar and differ in localization. Any of the following diseases occurs against a background of angina or may be its consequence.

Catarrhal infection

If a cough with sore throat is accompanied by sneezing, watery eyes, dry throat, runny nose and a small (37. 2 – 37.5 degrees), but persistent temperature, then perhaps we are talking about a catarrhal viral infection – SARS, acute respiratory infections (cold). More than 90% of diseases in children are due to these diseases. A red, sore throat, similar to the symptomatic picture of catarrhal angina, can be misleading to the layman.

The good news here is that ARVI or a cold is much easier than acute tonsillitis. Diseases are of a viral nature, “pass” relatively quickly (7-10 days) and end in complete recovery, without complications.

Catarrhal pharyngitis

Inflammation of the nasopharynx, the back wall of the larynx, which is accompanied by persistent cough, sometimes fever, pain and sore throat is called pharyngitis. The main difference from angina is pure palatine tonsils against the background of the red back of the throat.

As an independent disease in 70% of cases it has a viral nature, it is effectively treated with folk remedies. Pharyngitis associated with angina may be caused by an underlying bacterial infection, which requires the appointment of antibiotics. For a complete diagnosis, a bacteriological analysis of scrapings from the throat is performed.


Inflammation of the vocal cords, which is accompanied by hoarseness, scratching and sore throat, sputum production is called laryngitis. In children, the vocal cords can increase significantly, up to the complete overlap of the airways. An excruciating, barking cough in a child against the background of complaints about the throat is a reason for an immediate visit to the doctor.

Laryngitis is more often a secondary infection (for example, weakening the body with a sore throat) than an independent disease.

Tracheitis, laryngotracheitis

Cough with angina may be caused by concomitant infection of the trachea – tracheitis or combined laryngotracheitis. In adults, these diseases are accompanied by a violent, dry cough, which gradually, with an increase in mucopurulent discharge, becomes wet. In a child, they lead to respiratory restriction, attacks of false croup.

Any of the infections occurring together with angina may have a different nature from the underlying disease. In this case, the body is affected by both viruses and bacteria. Treatment, respectively, should also be prescribed complex. Laboratory blood control is required. Only when the analyzes are normalized can we talk about the onset of a cure.

Cough as a complication after tonsillitis

If diseases of the upper respiratory tract occur against the background of acute tonsillitis and proceed simultaneously with it, then the infection “gets” to the bronchi and lungs later, causing cough after a sore throat. Acute bronchitis is the most common complication.

Inflammation of the bronchi begins with chest pain, shortness of breath, general weakness. It can proceed without a significant increase in body temperature (37.0 -37.2). Dry cough occurs almost immediately, it is especially painful at night in children. The condition improves with thinning and expectoration of sputum.

Cough after a sore throat is sometimes a sign of a more serious complication – rheumatic fever. The disease does not occur immediately (after 2-3 weeks) and often the patient does not associate with a sore throat transferred to the legs. If you do not seek medical help at the first signs of malaise, the disease progresses rapidly. The heart, kidneys, joints can be involved in the pathological process.


Symptomatic cough with angina is dry (at the beginning of the disease) and wet (recovery stage). The treatment methods for these two stages are directly opposite:

  • Dry. Drugs are prescribed that help relieve spasms and calm the nerve receptors that provoke coughing. At the same time, mucus thinners should be taken.
  • Wet cough is treated with drugs that help to expel sputum, i.e. “enhance” it.

It is important to understand that the treatment of cough as such does not lead to getting rid of the disease, especially if a sore throat is suspected.