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Dr. Abby
Dr. Abby, Board Certified MD
Category: Health
Satisfied Customers: 10330
Experience:  Family Physician, practicing medicine for over 10 years, United States
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I had a sudden onset of sore throat and fever. What do I do?

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I had a sudden onset of a severe sore throat last night. Fever of up to 101.4 developed and is now coming and going. Throat is still extremely sore, fever is currently 99.7 - whole body aches, pretty bad headache also. No other cold or flu symptoms of any kind. Should I get this checked out? The lack of any other symptoms seems weird.

Do you have any underlying health problems?
Take any medications?
Are you having any type of cough?

Customer: replied 7 years ago.

Perfectly healthy - run 50 miles a week. No medications other than the Ibu. No cough or any other respiratory symptoms.

Thank you for the additional information.
Your symptoms, other than the lack of cough, still are suggestive of the flu.
If you have been exposed to H1N1, this may be the onset. Typical symptoms are headache, fever, body aches, sore throat (and cough).
I would have your doctor examine you tomorrow as you could also have a bacterial throat infection. Seeing your doctor within the 48 hour window of the onset of symptoms, if you have flu, will allow you to be started on antiviral medications such as Tamiflu if necessary.
In the meantime, I would continue with the ibuprofen for the fever.
Other things you can do for the sore throat are use warm salt water gargles, lozenges, and you can also try gargling with liquid benadryl mixed with maalox (1/2 and 1/2). Don't swallow the mixture. It may help to numb the throat a bit.
Let me know if you have any follow up questions. I hope that you feel better.
Thank you!!

Customer: replied 7 years ago.

Would it be worth an ER visit to catch this as early as possible? I don't want to tie up ER resources obviously - but I live in a small community and ER isn't ever very busy... will waiting another 24 hours make a difference if it is a bacterial infection?

It is not likely that this is an emergency.
If it is influenza, the medications used to treat it do need to be started within 48 hours. It would not hurt you to wait until the am as long as you are within the 48 hour window, unless you are feeling short of breath.
A bacterial sore throat can also wait until tomorrow, unless you are having difficulty swallowing--if you are drooling because you cannot swallow your saliva--if you have severe swelling of the throat to the point where your tonsils are touching, or if you have severe pain and need immediate relief.

Thank you!!

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