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What do difficulty swallowing, discolored sputum sore throat and chills indicate?

Answered by
Dr. Bonnie Berger-Durnbaugh

General & Family Physician

Practicing since :1991

Answered : 2763 Questions

Posted on Tue, 22 May 2018 in Ear, Nose and Throat Problems
Question: Temperature 103.1
Very bad sore throat
Difficulty swallowing
Discolored sputum
Answered by Dr. Bonnie Berger-Durnbaugh 1 hour later
Brief Answer:

Detailed Answer:

You are pretty sick and I advise you go in to an urgent care clinic now because this may be strep throat. The doctor should swab your throat to do a rapid strep test which is quite accurate, but if it is negative, the swab should be sent for bacterial culture to make sure. While I am cautious about what I prescribe antibiotics for, because of the development of resistant organisms, strep is one you do want to treat with antibiotics because of the risk of developing rheumatic fever/heart disease if untreated.

It could also be influenza if you are having coughing too. Flu is a viral illness so antibiotics won't help, but it can be risky so you should be checked.

Another possibility, if you are having a lot of coughing in addition to the sore throat is pneumonia, which can also give a high fever. The doctor should listen to your chest, and if he/she feels pneumonia is a possibility, should get a chest X-ray.

Bacterial bronchitis can give a high fever too, and discolored sputum, but most bronchitis is caused by viruses.

So - because of your high fever/chills and the bad sore throat, I do recommend you go in now.

Many urgent care clinics now are staffed with NP and PAs instead of doctors but there is usually a real doctor on site too, and I recommend you ask to be seen by a real doctor if possible. They have more training.

I hope you are feeling better soon. Please let me know if you have any further questions after you have gone in to be seen.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar

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