Step 4: Read and complete the decision guide to learn more about your symptoms.
You may have an infection. The symptoms of a bacterial infection, such as strep throat, usually start abruptly and quickly get worse over a day or two. Mononucleosis tends to come on more gradually over several days to a week.
Strep throat and mono almost always have additional symptoms, not just a sore throat.
Do you have one or more of the following symptoms with your sore throat
fever over 101F
painful or enlarged lymph nodes in the neck
white or light yellow spots on your tonsils
Most likely, you have a mild viral infection or allergies. In the next few days, you may develop new symptoms that help make a diagnosis. In that case, you should try going through this tool again from the start. If you do not feel better by the end of two weeks, make an appointment to see your health care provider. While you may just have a viral infection or a mild case of allergies, you want to make sure you don't miss other more serious causes of a sore throat. Especially, if you are a smoker or have ever been a smoker, you want to make sure you do not have a tumor or throat cancer.