The tonsils are among the lymphocytes and play a major immune role, as the tonsils work to capture and prevent foreign and pathogenic bodies from entering the body.

The tonsils are at the end of the throat, and you can get an infection, which is called tonsillitis.

Tonsillitis can occur at any age, but it is most common in children from preschool age to mid-teens. Bacterial or viral infections cause tonsillitis. Read on to learn about the causes of tonsillitis, and its most important symptoms.


Tonsillitis can be caused by bacterial, or viral, as we explain below:

Viral tonsillitis

Viral tonsillitis is caused by a group of viruses such as influenza. Viral tonsillitis is the most common type, with up to 70% of tonsillitis cases.

Bacterial tonsillitis

Bacterial tonsillitis is called bacterial tonsillitis. This type of infection is caused by a group of bacteria, such as from group A, people who do not have tonsils.

Is tonsillitis contagious? In fact, tonsillitis, whether bacterial or viral, is a highly contagious disease, and infection can be transmitted in one of the following ways:

  • Direct contact with a patient with tonsillitis, as in kissing
  • Share personal tools with patients.
  • Receiving a sneezing or coughing droplet of a patient.
  • Contact with a contaminated surface. [3]

Symptoms of tonsillitis

There are three types of tonsillitis, and they are as follows:

  • Acute tonsillitis: Symptoms last 4 days and may extend up to 2 weeks.
  • Recurrent tonsillitis: The infection recurs more than once in a year.
  • Chronic tonsillitis: Long-term persistent tonsillitis. [1]

There are many symptoms of tonsillitis, which we review as follows:

  • High temperature until fever.
  • Mouth odor changes to bad breath.
  • Difficulty and pain while swallowing.
  • Severe sore throat.
  • Note that the tone of voice changes to a hoarse voice.
  • Feeling pain in the stomach, and ear.
  • Neck and jaw stiffness due to .
  • Swelling and redness of the tonsils.
  • The appearance of white or yellow spots on the tonsils.

Very young children show some symptoms, including:

Causes of tonsillitis

As we mentioned, tonsillitis occurs as a result of bacterial or viral infections, the most famous of which are listed below:

  1. .
  2. flu.
  3. virus.
  4. Enteroviruses.
  5. adenoviruses.
  6. Streptococcus bacteria.

The most important risk factors for developing tonsillitis are:

  • Age: Tonsillitis is more common in children than adults. Children from 5 to 15 years of age are most affected. Very young children get viral tonsillitis, while older children get bacterial tonsillitis.
  • Environment: The environment in which children grow up plays an important role in the infection of tonsillitis, if the environment is surrounded by germs, it will facilitate the spread and transmission of infection, unlike clean and uncrowded environments.[1] [4]

Diagnosis of tonsillitis

The doctor needs to know the child’s medical history, and when the symptoms began to appear, then he examines the tonsils to note the presence of any redness or white spots on the tonsils, or swollen and enlarged lymph nodes.

A rapid strep test can be done to find out the type of tonsillitis if it is bacterial or viral. Results of a rapid strep test appear within minutes by analyzing a sample of fluid from the tonsils or the end of the throat. [4]