The most common cause of a sore throat, usually from a virus, such as a cold or the flu.


Rest, drink liquids and gargle with warm salt water. Take pain relievers bought without a prescription to ease pain. Don't give children aspirin.

When to seek immediate medical care

See a doctor immediately if:

  • Drooling or trouble swallowing
  • Trouble breathing

When to make a doctor's appointment

Make an appointment to see a doctor for:

  • Symptoms that last a week or longer for an adult.
  • Fever, rash or joint pain.
  • Blood in mucus.