Sore throat pain is usually the result the common cold or influenza accompanied with a bacterial or viral infection. Environmental factors like dry or smoky air can aggravate a sore throat, but they are not likely to be the cause. Antibiotics are the typical sore throat cure for bacterial infections but they do not kill viruses and there is no cure for a viral throat infection other than letting it run its course and treating the symptoms. Between five and ten percent of all sore throats develop into Streptococcal infections and if left untreated, rheumatic fever and kidney damage can develop.
The best sore throat cure may actually be preventing the progression of cold or flu in the first place. Washing your hands frequently is one of the best ways to prevent catching a cold. Anti-bacterial washes allow hand washing when soap and water aren’t available. It is often easier to prevent catching colds and flu than it is to find effective sore throat remedies.
Colds, flu and many other respiratory viruses can be transmitted by inhaling infectious particles in the air from coughing and sneezing or by touching respiratory secretions of an infected person. Touching surfaces that have been contaminated with flu virus particles can transmit the virus to your eyes or nose. It is not a sore throat cure, but using disinfectant on shared items like doorknobs and computer keyboards can help reduce the spread of illness.
If a sore throat lasts more than three days you may have a bacterial infection and need a prescribed antibiotic. If both tongue and throat swell and a fever of 103 degrees is accompanied by swollen, tender glands in the neck call your doctor.