Today’s Wonder of the Day was inspired by Gabby from Tallahassee , FL. Gabby Wonders, “What is influenza, common cold, and strep throat?” Thanks for WONDERing with us, Gabby!

Have you ever—cough—cough—whew, sorry! Have you ever—sniff—gosh! What we’re trying to ask is, have you ever been under the weather? No, we’re not talking about standing outside under stormy rain clouds! “Under the weather” is a saying that means you’re not feeling so great.

When someone is under the weather, they might be dealing with allergies, a cold, or any number of other illnesses. These conditions often come with different symptoms like a runny nose or upset stomach. But one thing many illnesses have in common is that they cause a sore throat.

Have you ever had a sore throat? It’s no fun. It makes it hard to talk and causes your voice to sound different. Many times, having a sore throat causes you to cough a lot. It might make your throat feel dry like you can’t get enough water.

All kinds of illnesses cause a sore throat. You might have a sore throat caused by the common cold or allergies. Other issues like the flu or strep throat also make your throat hurt. Factors that aren’t illnesses at all can also cause a sore throat! You might end up with a sore throat after breathing air that is very dry or polluted—such as second-hand smoke.

Some people are more likely to have a sore throat than others. Your age is one major factor. People between five and fifteen years old suffer from sore throats more often than other age groups. Other factors include having allergies or acid reflux disease. Having large tonsils also makes someone more likely to have a sore throat.

Sometimes, swollen tonsils cause serious problems. When you have a virus called tonsillitis, your tonsils become very swollen and red. They cause you to have a very sore throat and a fever. Many people have to undergo a tonsillectomy, which is a surgery to remove their tonsils.

Does a sore throat mean you need to have your tonsils removed? Not always! Many times, a sore throat caused by a cold or allergies have much easier cures. Plenty of over-the-counter medicines help, such as throat sprays and cough drops. Gargling with warm salt water and getting plenty of rest can also help a sore throat go away.

Laryngitis is another common condition that causes a sore throat. Often, people get laryngitis by overusing their vocal cords. You may have laryngitis if your voice becomes hoarse or very weak. It’s very common in people who use their voices a lot, like singers and teachers. Usually, laryngitis goes away after the voice box gets a few days of rest.

Have you ever had a sore throat that just won’t go away? If you can’t figure out the cause of your sore throat, it’s a good idea to see a doctor. They can figure out what’s causing the soreness. The doctor can then tell you what to do to feel better.

No one wants to deal with a sore throat! If you’re feeling under the weather, be sure to talk to a family member about it. They can help you find ways to feel better faster.

Standards: CCRA.L.3, CCRA.L.6, CCRA.R.1, CCRA.R.2, CCRA.R.4, CCRA.R.10, CCRA.SL.1, CCRA.SL.2, CCRA.L.1, CCRA.L.2

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