The tonsils are two glandular masses of lymph node-like tissue located on either side of the throat. If a person's tonsils have not been removed, the tonsils can usually be seen by looking in the person's mouth, at the back of the throat.
The function of the tonsils is to trap incoming bacteria and viruses that might enter the body through the throat. The tonsils trap illness-causing organisms with infection-fighting cells and antibodies.
However, sometimes the tonsils themselves become infected. When this occurs, a fever and sore throat may develop. The tonsils usually become red and swollen, and they often will have white spots on them.
If a doctor determines that the infection is bacterial, medication may be prescribed. However, since tonsillitis can also be viral, DO NOT allow children to take aspirin products because a serious disease called Reye’s Syndrome could ensue.
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