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Dr. Stephen Odzer

It was a Wednesday afternoon, and it was a busy day for pediatrician Dr. Stephen Odzer. He had a lot of appointments, and while most of them had been quite straight-forward (mostly check-ups
and regular pediatric visits), some of them actually were a little more problematic. This was definitely the case of Nicholas Somers. This child was about 9 years old, and he was struggling with a really nasty sore throat. His parents didn’t seem to keen to take him to a doctor right away, so they initially thought it was going to be just a passing sore throat. “It’s nothing,” they told their child. “Drink a few hot drinks, stay warm and get plenty of vitamins, and you’ll feel swell in no time!”

The days went by, and the parents tried all sorts of home remedies, as well as paying close attention to the child’s nutrition, giving him fresh fruit and orange juice every day. In spite of the good, health-giving habits, poor Nicholas was still struggling with a rather crippling sore throat!

In spite of the parents’ care, Nicholas was actually not getting better at all. In fact, he was getting worse!

It turns out, the infection was actually bacterial in origin! The culprit? The common streptococcal bacterium, which causes severe inflammation and swelling, particularly at the back of the throat, and in some cases, even at the tonsils. This is exactly where Nicholas was struggling so much!

If left untreated, a streptococcal infection could actually become quite serious, and it is also highly contagious. What most people don’t realize is that strep throat can be difficult to diagnose based on symptoms alone, because it can be mistaken for an average sore throat. However, Nicholas’ diagnosis was a little easier, because he had left the problem unattended for a lot longer. This caused more severe issues, such as severe headaches, and even nausea and vomiting, which are often signs of bacterial infections. Dr. Stephen Odzer later told the kid’s parents to consult a doctor sooner next time! “If your kid is feeling sick for over 4-5 days, don’t wait. It’s better to be safe than sorry, right?”

A common sore throat might disappear within less than a week, but in some cases, there could be something more serious at play!