File image of a GP consultation. / SUR

Family GPs see an increase in viral and bacterial pharyngitis and tonsillitis infections

General practitioners say the symptoms are similar to coronavirus: headache, joint pain, cough and fever

Ángel Escalera

The reduction in the incidence of Covid and the fact that fewer and fewer people wear a mask have left the way open for viral and bacterial infections of the upper respiratory tract, especially viral pharyngitis and tonsillitis and streptococcal or pultaceous tonsillitis.

The symptoms are very similar to Covid: headache, joint pain, cough, fever and general malaise and GPs consulted by SUR have confirmed that in recent weeks there has been an increase in these cases.

“We are seeing an increase in tonsillitis, pharyngitis and viral and bacterial respiratory conditions. They are infections that have always existed, it is nothing new. They are resurfacing taking advantage of the fact that the Covid has decreased,” said a family doctor.


The treatment that patients are prescribed is usually the alternation of paracetamol and ibuprofen and the intake of a lot of water. In cases where there is an intense and persistent cough, a syrup with codeine is prescribed. The health sources explained that if, in addition to the virus, the patient suffers from a bacterial infection, the mucus is darker and greener, the fever is higher and pus appears in the tonsils (tonsillitis pultacea). Then the patient is prescribed antibiotics, a medication that is not used if the infection is caused by a virus.

There are two causes that have led to the resurgence of viruses that have been almost inactive in the peak periods of SARS-CoV-2. The first is the decline of Covid itself. The second is related to the decreasing use of the mask after it became no longer mandatory to wear it in closed spaces, except in health and social care centres and on public transport. By not wearing the mask, pathogens are more easily transmitted, medical sources said.