pediatric housecalls Robert R. Jarrett M.D. M.B.A. FAAP

Tonsillitis – international

[An international reader of the blog whose “licensed doctor for the young/kids” diagnoses “tonsillitis” and “Typhoid fever” frequently making him confused.]

I have a 3 year old son that often gets tonsillitis (I believe), but his pediatrician always tells me this is an indication of typhoid fever… which I doubt… If it is typhoid fever, I believe she should ask my son be confined, right? What I believe he is having is tonsillitis… what concerns me is that he often gets it every 2 or 3 months and I’m worried with a lot of antibiotic he is taking… not just amoxil, but much stronger like cefixime, klaricid, etc… How can I prevent him from having tonsillitis?… lannec JA
It sounds as though you have a perplexing problem. I wonder if I could ask where (in the world) you are located. I ask that because, although I understand all the words that you have written, I’m concerned that I don’t understand all the issues. Different areas of the world use different terminology and experience different grouping of germs and I’m not sure I yet know how to “interpret” your question. You use the term “pediatrician” – in the U.S. that means a licensed physician who has undergone three additional years of specialty training and passed the “national board” examination in Pediatrics. What is the training of the doctor that you are seeing? And could you give me a little bit more description of your child’s episodes of illness? What happens to him, and what do YOU see before you take him to the doctor? Then, what does the doctor see and: how does he confirm the diagnosis? i.e. any lab tests? cultures? etc. Are there any other medical problems associated with the “sore throat.”
What I mean for pediatrician is a licensed doctor for the young/kids… There isn’t any laboratory tests my doctor do to my son…she just looked at his throat and have him lie down, press a little his stomach. I am wondering whether her diagnosis of always typhoid fever is correct for my son. If the water we are drinking or using in taking a bath is not clean, I assume that there will be an epidemic of typhoid in our area. She advised me to boil the water my son is drinking and I did…but still he still encounters symptoms of typhoid per my doctor…which I think is only tonsillitis…My question is that is there a way that we can prevent tonsillitis? I am very concerned that he is always taking antibiotics and if you look at the dosage since my son is a little bit big it is much higher than the ordinary 3 year old kids? Can chocolates really cause tonsillitis?… lannec JA
Because of the extensive nature of this answer – it has been converted into a full-fledged article entitled “the Hitchhikers’ Guide to Sore Throats,” which can be found by clicking Here. But just to be up front, even allowing for translation and differences in international practice, it’s almost certain that: the doctor he is describing is NOT a Pediatrician (or the equivalent thereof); what his child becomes ill with is NOT typhoid; and NO, chocolate does NOT cause tonsillitis.

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