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What are the symptoms of tonsillitis in children?

Viral infections are the most common cause of tonsillitis, but both bacterial and viral infections can cause tonsillitis. A common bacterial cause is Streptococcus (strep) bacteria.
 
Common viral causes include:
  • Adenovirus
  • Rhinovirus
  • Influenza virus
  • Epstein-Barr virus
  • Parainfluenza virus
  • Enterovirus
 
The main symptom of tonsillitis is a sore throat. Inflammation and swelling of the tonsils can also occur, sometimes this can be severe enough to block the airways.
Other common symptoms include:
 
  • Redness of the tonsils
  • White or yellow pus spots on the tonsils
  • Pain when swallowing
  • Headache
  • Loss of appetite
  • Ear pain
  • Difficulty swallowing or breathing through the mouth
  • Swollen glands in the neck or jaw area
  • Fever, chills
  • Bad breath
 
In children symptoms may include:
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Abdominal pain

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