Viral pharyngitis is also known as a sore throat. It is an infection of the throat caused by a tiny germ called a virus. A sore throat can easily spread from person to person. Coughing, sneezing, and touching something with the germ on it spreads the sore throat. Viral infections most often go away after 7 to 10 days. You may not need any treatment. Some can cause very serious health problems.