What causes red spots in the back of your throat?

Not Medical Advice: The most likely cause for red spots in the back of the throat is strep throat. Other signs and symptoms of strep throat are throat pain, difficulty swallowing, red and swollen tonsils, sometimes with white patches or streaks of pus, swollen or tender lymph nodes, fever, headache, rash and fatigue. If left untreated, strep throat can cause complications such as kidney inflammation and rheumatic fever.

The cause of strep throat is bacteria known as group A streptococcus. Streptococcal bacteria are highly contagious, and can be spread airborne when someone coughs or sneezes. It can also be caught by sharing drinks or food, and touching infected objects.

According to new guidelines recently released, people should take antibiotics for strep throat only if a test confirms they have the bacteria. Most sore throats are caused by viruses, and do not need to be treated with antibiotics unless they are caused by bacteria.

Updated on Friday, September 21 2012 at 01:37AM EDT