Difference Between Tonsillitis and Strep Throat (With Table)

Season changes often cause the feeling of unwellness, and the very first symptom of this uneasiness that is spotted is discomfort in the throat. This discomfort of the throat can turn into Tonsillitis or Strep Throat very easily. Even though their symptoms may make it a bit difficult to differentiate between the two, the cause of both illnesses is surely different.

Tonsillitis vs Strep Throat

The main difference between Tonsillitis and Strep Throat is that Tonsillitis is caused by both bacteria and viruses whereas Strep Throat is only caused by viruses. Among both of the illnesses, Tonsillitis is much more severe and it requires treatment from a specialist only, whereas strep throat initially can be cured with home remedies.

Tonsillitis is a disease that causes swelling of the tonsils. Symptoms can be neck pain, nausea, painful swallowing, fever, headache, runny nose caused by bacteria and viruses. To treat throat discomfort caused by tonsillitis in children and adults, paracetamol and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications can be utilized.

Strep throat is a disease that can be transferred via infected people’s discharges in the air. It can be transmitted directly or indirectly by contacting anything with droplets and then contacting the face. Many individuals have germs without showing any signs or symptoms. Strep Throat can be easily caused by Neisseria gonorrhea.

Comparison table Between Tonsillitis and Strep Throat

Parameters Of Comparison


Strep Throat

Causing Agent

Tonsillitis is caused by bacterias like adenovirus, influenza.

Strep Throat is caused by viruses such as like Neisseria gonorrhoeae.


It caused neck pain

It causes pain in the whole body.


It should be cured by doctors when caused by a virus.

Strep Throat can be cured by home remedies however serious strep throat symptoms should alert the patient for a doctor’s visit.


Tonsillitis may happen throughout the year.

Strep Throat majorly happens during the fall and winter season


Tonsillitis is caused by both bacteria and viruses.

Strep Throat can only be caused by the virus.

What is Tonsillitis?

Tonsillitis could be triggered by a mixture of microorganisms. Pathogens, such as influenza, coronavirus, and adenovirus following, are the most common cause. Epstein-Barr virus and herpes simplex virus are also responsible for Tonsillitis. The Epstein-Barr virus is a kind of herpes simplex virus. The herpes simplex virus is a virus that causes genital herpes. Tonsillitis is simply another of the infections’ symptoms. To identify which influenza, is causing severe tonsillitis, the physician would need to conduct tests and analyze all of the indications.

Bacteria might also be the cause of tonsillitis. Bacteria are thought to be the cause of around 25 percent of the overall tonsillitis cases. Tonsillitis can also be caused by other types of strep bacterium, such as Staphylococcus aureus or Chlamydia pneumonia is a kind of Chlamydia and also Neisseria gonorrhea which is a bacteria that causes gonorrhea. Bacterial tonsillitis is much more frequent in kids aged to 15. The physician may be unable to treat chronic tonsillitis if it has been caused by a virus. Patients can be prescribed medicines to cure tonsillitis if the illness is caused by the bacterium. The tonsils and adenoids may get swollen which can make it difficult to breathe in some circumstances.

What is Strep Throat?

Strep throat is an infection caused by pathogens like viruses that can cause soreness and scratchiness in the throat. A very less percentage of sinus problems are caused by strep throat. The illness can lead to problems including organ irritation or chronic fever if it remains unattended. Kids are by far the most prevalent victims of strep throat, although it can afflict anyone of any age.

Because germs cause strep throat, the specialist might recommend oral antibiotics within the span of two days after the onset of the sickness. It will cut down on the duration and complexity of the illness, and the problems and risk of spreading the infection to others. One could also control the discomfort of enlarged tonsils and sores using natural remedies. The germs of strep throat causing organisms can easily be transferred to another person from discharges. Some very common symptoms are Tiny red patches on the upper jaw, trouble or discomfort feeding, muscle aching, dizziness, or puking, particularly among children. Immediate interaction with the mucous or sores of someone that has strep is the most common way to contract the disease. Medication is critical to avoid problems. Pharmaceuticals such as penicillin, cephalexin, and azithromycin are routinely used anti-biotics. Additional pain relievers and temperature reducers include acetaminophen.

Main Differences Between Tonsillitis and Strep Throat

  1. The main cause of tonsillitis can be caused by both viruses and bacteria, but strep throat can only be caused by virus infection.
  2. During tonsillitis white spots may appear on the back of the tonsils whereas incase of Strep Throat, red patches of spots appear on the
  3. Tonsillitis may cause stomach disorders, while strep throat might vomiting.
  4. Tonsillitis may cause sinus problems, but the chances of developing a sinus problem from strep throat is very less.
  5. Tonsillitis cannot be treated with home remedies, but strep throat could be treated with home remedies.
  6. Tonsillitis may result in some neck stiffness, but strep throat does not cause neck stiffness.
  7. Tonsillitis can be a result of viruses like the coronavirus, herpes simplex virus, HIV while Strep Throat is caused by the group A of the family of  Streptococcus .


Both Tonsillitis and Strep Throat cause discomfort and swelling in the throat. They have similar symptoms like nausea, red tonsils, making it hard to swallow anything, sudden headaches, dripping in huge volumes or on a regular basis, a lack of capacity to take in liquids, respiratory problems, a high fever, weariness, or tiredness. Even though the symptoms might not seem to be harmful, still a doctor should be met in these cases instead of the condition getting worse. Tonsillitis happens throughout the year but strep throat occurs during fall and winter majorly. Kids are the major victims of both illnesses.


  1. https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/0272989×8100100304?journalCode=mdma
  2. https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/article-abstract/193357