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Patients generally complain of extreme unilateral soreness of the throat with odynophagia, drooling, and trismus. Otalgia on the side of the infection is not uncommon.

Because it can be difficult at times to differentiate a peritonsillar cellulitis from a true abscess, some opt to initially treat with 24 hours of intrayenous antibiotics and hydration. If the patient improves during this time, the infection is most likely a cellulitis that will probably continue to improve with parental antibiotics.

Bearing in mind that most patients harbor a mixed spectrum of aerobic and anaerobic organisms.

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