January is known to be the coolest month in the Philippines, with average temperatures at 25° across the archipelago. In the mountains of Baguio, however, temperatures in January can range from 15° to 23°, especially from November to February. During these colder months, a rise in cases of common colds, fever and sore throat often occur.
What may seem to be an innocuous irritation could be indicative of something more serious and must be given the proper medical attention. We answer some of the most basic questions about sore throat, its causes, symptoms, and remedies.
What is it? Defined as a pain, scratchiness or irritation that often worsens upon swallowing, it is also known as pharyngitis.
What causes sore throat? Among the reasons are colds and flu, allergies, mononucleosis, smoking, strep throat and tonsillitis. Viruses that cause colds and flu, as well as bacteria that causes strep throat can also be the reason for sore throat.
What are the symptoms? Other indicators of a sore throat include fever, headache, white patches in your throat or on your tonsils, red and swollen tonsils; for children, abdominal pain and vomiting may also be experienced.
What are the treatments? An immediate remedy is to keep an irritated throat moist, by taking lozenges or hard candies that stimulates saliva. The use of throat sprays or pain relievers may also soothe the pain. Younger children can take cold liquids or popsicles.
For sore throat from bacteria, an antibiotic is usually prescribed by the family doctor. For virus-induced irritation of the throat, the infection is usually made to run its course, as antibiotics do not work against viruses. If arising from allergies, the triggers need to be identified and then avoided to prevent recurrence of the sore throat.
To address the irritated throat condition, early consultation with a family doctor or medical professional is advised. Proper testing and diagnosis are essential to identify the best possible treatment to clear the pain all together and get back on the road to wellness.
 Climate of the Philippines. [n.d.]. Retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Climate_of_the_Philippines#CITEREFCoronas1920