A sore throat is a common symptom of an upper respiratory infection such as a cold or flu. It's also a symptom of a bacterial infection commonly referred to as strep throat. How can you tell if your child's sore throat is caused by a viral or bacterial infection? Mayo Clinic family medicine specialist Dr. Tina Ardon helps make the distinction.

Your child complains of an itchy sore throat that hurts when he or she swallows. Most often, it's a viral infection that will go away on its own. You can treat the symptoms, but there is no cure for a cold or flu virus.

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