Fever and sore throat

What is meant by fever and sore throat?

Fever is an elevated body temperature. The definition of fever is not completely consistent. Often there is talk of fever already from 38 ° C. In the medical field (hospitals, medical practices) is spoken of fever in adults usually only from a body temperature of 38.5 ° C. Temperatures between 37.1 ° C and 38.4 ° C are then referred to as subfebrile temperatures.

Sore throat in the medical field usually means pain inside the neck. Muscular pain in the cervical region is more commonly described as neck pain.
Sore throat in the narrower sense, therefore, usually arises as a result of irritation of the mucous membrane of the throat or throat.
Sore throat and fever often occur together. Various diseases can be the cause of this.


Most commonly, sore throats and increased body temperature are common in simple and very common colds.
However, the body temperature rarely rises above 38.4 ° C so that in the narrower medical sense not fever but only subfebrile temperatures would be discussed.

In contrast, flu (influenza), which is caused by influenza viruses, typically raises body temperature to a temperature of up to 41 ° C. Also in influenza, sore throats often occur as a concomitant symptom. Other typical symptoms include coughing, runny nose, severe body aches, chills and a significantly reduced general condition.

Although inflammation of the pharyngitis (pharyngitis) causes severe sore throat, fever usually does not occur.

Another common cause of a combination of fever and sore throat is tonsillitis, commonly referred to only as angina or tonsillitis.

Even an abscess in the throat area can lead to sore throat and fever. Such an abscess arises mostly as a result of an untreated bacterial infection of the ear, nose and throat region.

In children and adolescents, another possible cause of fever and sore throat is Pfeiffer's glandular fever.
In technical jargon one speaks of the so-called infectious mononucleosis. The trigger for this is the Ebstein-Barr virus. It comes to a sore throat, high fever, lymphadenopathy and marked fatigue.


The common cold, which is very common and many people overtake several times a year, is associated with cough, runny nose, sore throat, and sometimes slight body aches and a slightly limited performance.

Fever, ie temperatures above 38.4 ° C are extremely rare in a simple cold.
Subfebrile temperatures between 37 and 38.4 ° C, however, are relatively common.

The simple cold usually heals without specific therapy within a few days to about a week again.
During the time of the cold stronger physical stress should be avoided.


Tonsillitis is a disease that is traditionally associated with a combination of fever and severe sore throat. It is a bacterial disease, usually with streptococci. The throat and the palatine tonsils are crimson, on the palatine tonsils there are spotty whitish-yellow coverings, the so-called little tips.

Because it is a bacterial infection, tonsillitis usually needs to be treated with antibiotics. In addition, pain relieving and antipyretic agents are used.

In children, tonsillitis may be associated with a typical rash (rash). One then no longer speaks of an tonsillitis but of scarlet fever. An antibiotic treatment is necessary.


In an allergic reaction, the symptoms of sore throat and fever are rare.

Common symptoms of allergy, however, are:

  • rash,
  • Itching (also in the area of ​​the oral and pharyngeal mucosa),
  • watery, itchy eyes and nose,
  • Shortness of breath,
  • Palpitations,
  • Hypotension,
  • Diarrhea and
  • stomach pain

Accompanying symptoms

a headache

Headache is a common symptom of common cold.
Here they come together with a cough, runny nose and a slight feeling of fatigue and sore throat.

Even influenza (influenza) can cause headache as a concomitant symptom.
Overall, headache is a very nonspecific symptom that can accompany a variety of disorders.

body aches

Body pain is an uncomfortable feeling of heaviness, pain and weakness in the muscles and joints, especially of the arms and legs.
Back pain can also be considered a limb pain in some cases.

Body aches are a common symptom of seasonal infections.
In the case of the common cold, they are usually only moderately pronounced, whereas they are often very evident in flu (influenza).
They are temporary in nature and usually resolve after a few days with the onset of the infection.


Earache is not a classic cold or flu symptom.
Especially in children earache but more often occur in the context of an infection and are accompanied by fever and sore throat.

It is important that the ears are examined in the onset of pain to be able to rule out a relatively common middle ear infection in children.
Earache can also occur if the cold that occurs during an infection disturbs the ventilation of the inner ear.

skin rash

If a rash occurs in combination with a sore throat and fever, this may be an indication of a scarlet fever infection.

Scarlet fever occurs mainly as a childhood disease. This is an tonsillitis (angina tonsillaris) in addition to a red and usually in the groin begins rash occurs. This rash typically does not occur around the mouth, it is called perioral pallor.
Also typical are a deep red discoloration of the throat and a raspberry tongue, so a shiny red tongue.
Scarlet fever must be treated with antibiotics.
Other teething troubles can also be associated with fever and rash, such as three-day fever, ringworm, measles, rubella and chickenpox. However, sore throats are much less common in these diseases than concomitant symptoms of scarlet fever.
In adults, the combination of sore throat, fever, and rash is less common.

When do I have to go to the doctor?

In a simple cold, which is associated with mild sore throat and subfebrile temperatures, usually no doctor's visit is necessary.

Even with an influenza flu with fever, chills and sore throat a doctor does not necessarily have to be visited.
Especially when high fever occurs, however, at least antipyretic agents should be used.
Depending on the drug, these are freely available in the pharmacy (paracetamol) or must be prescribed by the doctor (Novalgin).
High fever and severe sore throat, however, may also be an indication of tonsillitis.
This must always be treated with antibiotics. Therefore, the doctor should be consulted for these symptoms.
This can quickly confirm or rule out tonsillitis and, if necessary, initiate adequate therapy.

Children have a fever relatively often. However, if there is a high fever paired with a sore throat, a doctor's visit is also recommended here in order to be able to make a more precise diagnosis. Even in children treatable tonsillitis is relatively common.


In particular, the doctor examines the oropharynx to determine whether there is an inflammation of the throat or even a bacterial colonization as in tonsillitis.


Whether and how throat pain and fever need to be treated depends on the underlying condition.

Fever can be treated symptomatically with antipyretic, fever-reducing agents.
Typically, drugs such as paracetamol, novalgin or ibuprofen are used.

Sore throat often does not need to be treated. For certain diseases, such as tonsillitis, however, treatment is required. This is where antibiotics such as penicillin are used which have to be taken regularly for several days.
To alleviate the pain in the throat, lozenges such as Dolodobendan ® are recommended as a symptomatic therapy.

home remedies

Both for fever and for sore throat, there are home remedies that can relieve the symptoms. However, there is not one and the same home remedy that helps against both fever and sore throat.
Therefore, here are some key home remedies that can help with either a fever or a sore throat.

The classic home remedy for fever is calf wrap.
Towels are soaked in lukewarm water, wrung out and wrapped around the calves.
The wet towels are then wrapped outside with dry. The wraps can be left until they have reached body temperature.
The calf rolls can be renewed as often as desired. Especially with small children, make sure that the wraps are used only when the fever is high and that the water used is not cold but at least lukewarm.
Calf wrap should only be used when the legs and feet are warm. Otherwise it can lead to excessive cooling. The aim of the calf wrap is to extract some heat from the outside overheated body by cooling from the outside.
A calf-wrap variation according to Kneipp recommends to soak the rolls with vinegar. The soaking of stockings in vinegar water is possible, one speaks of vinegar stockings.

To alleviate sore throats, the most popular home remedy is warm drinks.
This can be warmer, but not too hot, tea, but also hot milk with honey can work wonders, especially in children. But beware: Children under one year are not allowed to take honey!
Common teas to relieve sore throats are, for example, mixtures containing thyme, sage or camomile.
Gurgel solutions also relieve sore throat. There are different variants, such as gargle solutions containing apple cider vinegar, salt, aloe vera or chamomile extract. They can be easily made by yourself.
As a further home remedy for sore throat apply Quarkwickel. Here quark is finger-thick on a towel. This is then wrapped around the neck.
But beware: The cottage cheese should not be too fresh from the fridge as it may be too cold.
A sufficient intake of at least 2 liters daily also ensures sufficient moisture of the mucous membranes and thus counteracts sore throat.


There are many homeopathic remedies that can be used to treat a fever or sore throat.
For the treatment of sore throats, there are used, for example, Schüssler salts No. 3 (Ferrum phosphoricum), No. 6 (potassium sulfuricum), No. 11 (Silicea) and No. 2 (Calcium phosphoricum).
In addition, storm hatch (Aconitum napellus), belladonna (Atropa belladonna), sulfur liver (Hepar sulfuris), bush-master snake (Lachesis muta), black mercuric oxydul (Mercuris solubilis) and pokeweed (Phytolacca decandra) are believed to have a soothing effect.

However, it should not be forgotten that in certain diseases, symptomatic homeopathic therapy alone is not sufficient.


How long a sore throat and fever persist depends on the causative disorder.
While a simple cold usually lasts no longer than a week, influenza can cause discomfort for more than a week.
However, fever and sore throat are more likely to occur in the early stages of the disease and become less during the course of the disease.

For most diseases, a significant decrease in fever and sore throat can be expected after 3-5 days at the latest.

Special features of children

In children, relatively high fever is quite common, compared to adults. Mostly viral infections are the cause. Sore throat and fever then last a few days and disappear by themselves.

Symptomatic measures such as calf wrap and gargling also work well in children.
In case of high fever, however, additional antipyretic drugs should be used.
Paracetamol or ibuprofen are used in particular. In smaller children mostly in the form of suppositories or juice.

In children who have sore throat and fever should always be thought of the presence of tonsillitis (tonsillitis). If such angina is present, antibiotic therapy must be initiated. This can be done in children with penicillin juice.

If a rash occurs in addition to fever and sore throat, it is most likely a relatively common scarlet fever in children.
It must be treated in the same way as tonsillitis.

In general, in case of high fever should always be considered to visit the pediatrician. This can examine the child and decide if and which therapy is necessary.

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