Sometimes a sore throat is due to a “strep” infection; the throat will usually look beefy red and the uvula (that doohickey that hangs down at the back of the throat) may be elongated and lying on the back of the tongue. Please see a doctor if you suspect a strep throat. But most sore throats are viral and will resolve on their own. Read on for some tips on how to hasten the healing. General measures for expediting the resolution of a viral infection include, of course, drinking lots of water and increasing Vitamin C intake. Also, restrict food intake (which allows your body to focus on immune stimulation, rather than digestion), especially refined grains, sugar, alcohol and food allergens. If you have a fever — great! Try to intensify it. (Please read the post Suppressing Fevers for two options for home fever treatment.) This is your body’s natural anti-viral mechanism. Viruses live inside the cell so need to be “burned” out, as opposed to extracellular bacteria, which produce pus and green snot and all that other slimy stuff....

Fevers should only rarely be suppressed, for example in small children prone to febrile seizures, or a fever that continuously spikes over 104 degrees F for longer than 24 hours. If your body can mount a fever, the course of your viral illness is likely to be shorter. Sometimes people are too ill to mount a fever, and some help is required. You can also intensify your fever with the following two methods. The first method is easy and can be done alone. The second method requires the assistance of a loving friend and is not for the faint-of-heart. But it really works to burn out a viral bug!

Q: I have this head cold that has been around all winter. What should I do? Do I need antibiotics?

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