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Sore throat. Is this another flu attack? Discharge from ears. Is my sore throat causing the skin abnormality?

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Pediatrician, Infectious Diseases
Practicing since : 2005
Answered : 1528 Questions
Dear Doctor,
I had a very bad flu that began 5 weeks ago and all the symptoms only disappeared about 1.5 weeks ago. Then I was healthy since then. But yesterday I start to experience another sore throat, which has persisted since yesterday morning. Could this be another cold/flu? :( Just a few days ago, the part of my scalp near my left ear was a bit infected perhaps due to some bacteria (before that I kept scratching it due to itchiness) and there was some liquid flowing from that infected area down around my ears and stops around my neck. As a result my skin around my ears and down to neck is a bit infected - flaky skin, peeling, a few pimples-like bumps (I don't have pimples normally), hurt when I touch etc. Do you think that my sore throat has anything to do with this skin abnormality and the bacteria, since it is the same side of my throat that began to hurt yesterday? Or do I have another cold/flu? It feels very strange to me because for the past two weeks I have stayed in my dorm and there's nobody around in the building but me. I had almost zero contact with people except for walking into a store to buy something for 20 minutes. How can I catch a viral cold when there's nobody around to give it to me? And if it is another cold, is it normal to catch another cold 1.5 weeks after I just got over one? Does it say much about my immunity system? And lastly, do you have any advice to stop the sore throat before it develops into a fully-blown cold with runny/blocked nose and fever again? Or can it be stopped?

Many thanks!
Posted Wed, 2 May 2012 in Skin Hair and Nails
Answered by Dr. Hema Yadav 3 hours later
Hello .
Thanks for posting your query.
Your sore throat can be related to the skin infection as many bacteria like staphylococcus or streptococcus can cause both skin infection causing boils, and sore throat or pharyngitis.
But one can catch a viral cold again after a week or two since there are hundreds of viruses of different strains and an immunity to one strain does not guarantee protection from other strains.Viral infections can spread even with minimal personal contact if virus is airborne.
So in your case both are likely possibilities and to differentiate or confirm you need to be thoroughly evaluated and investigated by a physician or ear nose throat specialist.
The doctor can also check for signs of weakened immunity or hormonal disorders (thyroid or diabetes) or nutritional deficiency like anemia or vitamin deficiency as low immunity predispose to
recurrent infections.
In your case it can't be said that low immunity is definitely the cause since even normal or
stressed out individuals can have recurrent infections.
You should definitely try to minimise your symptoms by taking warm saline gargles thrice can try multivitamin supplements and also make sure to drink plenty of water.
But I would advise you to consult your doctor for confirmation of diagnosis and for appropriate antibiotic therapy if bacterial infection is suspected.
This would prevent you from further complications and provide faster relief.
Hope I have answered your query.
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