Children's Hospital Colorado


What is tonsillitis?

Tonsils are lymphoid tissue located in the back of the throat. Tonsillitis is an infection that involves only the tonsils, but often the infection also involves the throat and is called pharyngitis. Pharyngitis is commonly known as a sore throat.

What causes tonsillitis?

Tonsillitis and pharyngitis may be caused by a virus. Over 90% of pharyngitis cases are caused by viral infections. Tonsillitis and pharyngitis can also be caused by a bacterial infection. Strep bacteria cause the bacterial infection commonly known as strep throat.

Who gets tonsillitis?

Tonsillitis is most common among children between the ages of preschool and adolescence.

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