Tonsillitis usually appears as part of a generalized infection of the pharynx (throat), and the most common symptoms are sore throat, difficulty swallowing, fever, loss of appetite and chills. Neck nodes may appear inflamed and tender. In young children there may be no complaints at the throat level and the symptoms are just loss of appetite, mild fever and decreased normal activity.
It may be due to a virus or bacteria infection, the symptoms being generally similar. The importance of knowing the source of the infection is in the treatment to be adopted.The incubation period, the time between contagion and the onset of the disease, is an average of 7 days in bacterial tonsillitis due to streptococci. In cases of viral tonsillitis, this period is highly variable, depending on the type of virus, and can range from 18 hours (for influenza) to 8 weeks (Epstein-Barr).
In the case of viruses, the disease can take 2 to 5 days, depending on the type, with most people fully recovered after a week to 10 days. If the infection is due to streptococcus, the fever passes after 3 to 5 days. Healing can take up to 10 to 12 days (with antibiotics), but the return of the tonsils and ganglia to their normal appearance and size can take weeks.The risk of contagion is high and is usually caused by contact with the nasal or throat fluids of an infected person.