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Therapeutic Strategies for the Prevention of Rheumatic Fever

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Chief, Division of Infectious Diseases, Department of Medicine, University of Tennessee; Memphis, Tennessee

Ann Intern Med. 1977;86(4):494-496. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-86-4-494
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Acute pharyngitis is one of mankind's commonest maladies. Although it can have many etiologic agents (Corynebacterium diphtheriae, Mycoplasma pneumoniae, Neisseria gonorrhoeae, and others), in most cases the differential diagnosis comes down to viral or streptococcal infection. Both are likely to be benign and self-limited, although the latter can be associated with suppurative sequelae, such as acute sinusitis, otitis media, or peritonsillar abscess. The therapeutic implications are straight-forward: viral pharyngitis requires only supportive care, while patients with group A streptococcal sore throat should ordinarily receive penicillin therapy. Antibiotic therapy of "strep throat" is advocated both to prevent suppurative and, more important,


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