Alternate Names : Tonsillar Abscess, Quinsy, Quinsy Abscess
What can be done to prevent the infection?
The only real way to prevent a peritonsillar abscess is to have the tonsils
removed. Even people receiving antibiotics can develop a peritonsillar abscess.
Usually it develops after several days of sore throat. Most viral sore throats resolve in 24 to 48
hours. If a sore throat lasts for more than about two days, the healthcare
provider should be consulted.
What are the long-term effects of the infection?
One of the main concerns is the spread of the infection to nearby areas in the
neck. It can spread into the parapharyngeal space. This space houses the
carotid artery, the jugular vein, and several important nerves. A long-term
infection here can weaken the carotid artery and jugular vein. It also can cause life
The infection can also descend into the chest. This causes
infection in the soft tissue there, which is known as mediastinitis. Pus could
also collect around the lungs. If it gets into the prevertebral space, it can
go into the abdomen. Peritonsillar abscess can also cause an infected
clot to form in the jugular vein. Small infected clots then spread throughout
What are the risks to others?
A peritonsillar abscess is mildly contagious. The infection spreads from
person to person through saliva and nasal discharges.