Pharyngitis (Template:IPA2) is, in most cases, a painful inflammation of the pharynx, and is colloquially referred to as a sore throat. Infection of the tonsils (tonsillitis) and/or larynx (laryngitis) may occur simultaneously.
About 90% of cases are caused by viral infection, with the remainder caused by bacterial infection and, in rare cases, oral thrush (fungal candidiasis e.g. in babies). Some cases of pharyngitis are caused by irritation from elements such as pollutants or chemical substances
The pharynx is often the first site of infection. This is because viruses and bacteria often settle in this part of the body after a person inhales dust or water vapour containing the microorganism. Infection can also arise when a person touches their nose or mouth after having touched an object shared with another person with the disease. The foreign invader reproduces rapidly after settling on the body tissue.