Strep Infections in High Places

No, that’s not GW or FDR Jr but Winston C. himself

George Washington, age 67,  had a bad peritonsillar or epiglottal abscess; indeed, he died from it as his personal physicians resorted to extensive blood letting and did not dare lance the abscess.  He would have recovered with penicillin, I guess, but in his days the best treatment option for quinsy was surgical drainage.

FDR Junior had more luck.  The president’s son was one of the first recipients of Prontosil when he had a severe case of septic tonsillitis in 1936.  He avoided surgery and recovered uneventfully with sulfonamide therapy alone.

Then there is Winston Churchill.  At age 69, returning from the Tehran conference with FDR and Stalin, the perpetual smoker had a bad case of pneumonia in Dec. 1943 while in Tunisia.  He received a sulfonamide preparation (not penicillin as is often falsely stated) and recovered to live another decade. [1]



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