• Add to new collection
    Rights: The University of Waikato
    Published 27 November 2007 Referencing Hub media

    Everyone has had a sore throat, but what causes them and what can we do to treat them?


    Cathy Buntting: Sometimes our bodies need a bit of help. So sometimes these amazing bodies of ours don't actually work exactly the way they should. We get sick when something comes into our body and our body can't fight it off straight away.

    Today, we’re not going to talk about those things that get intou our body and make us sick, though. We are going to talk about invaders which actually we can use to help us. And one of the first examples that we are going to talk about is with sore throats. Now who has had a sore throat this winter? Yeah, everyone gets sore throats. Who’s got a bit of a sore throat at the moment? Now I wonder if one of you guys, since you are up the front, can actually go and stand right in front of the camera, make a bit of a noise, and then show us your tonsils.

    What do you think causes sore throats? Who knows what causes them?

    Student: Bacteria

    Cathy Buntting: Well done. Sometimes they’re caused by bad bacteria. Barbara is going to be our bad bacterium. OK, now what happens is the bad bacteria comes into our throat. Our bodies realise that there are bad bacteria there, and our bodies try to fight those bad bacteria off. So what can we do to help our bodies with that? What are some of the things you do when you've got a sore throat?

    Student: You can take antibiotics.

    Cathy Buntting: Good. Who knows what antibiotics do?

    Student: They help your throat.

    Cathy Buntting: Do you know how antibiotics work?

    Student: They kill the bacteria.

    Cathy Buntting: Well done! So antibiotics kill bacteria. Another thing you can do of course is take throat lozenges, which just help with the swelling. And swelling is our bodies’ response to the infection, to the bacteria being there.