Middle Ear Mayhem



You are an intern at a pediatric clinic, where you notice that many of the children coming into the clinic have reoccurring ear infections. Some research on your part reveals that 25% of physician visits by children under 3 are due to otitis media (infection of the middle ear)-- this amounts to over 25 million cases/year across the US!

Because of the general increase in the resistance of bacteria to antibiotics, the current CDC policy is to let these infections clear up on their own. The bad news is that, in about 20% of these cases, the infection persists and reoccurs.

A wealthy Cornell alumnus has brought her child to your clinic. Apparently her child attends daycare where there has been a number of otitis media cases. She has established a foundation for medical research and has given you a grant to investigate these persistent otitis media outbreaks.


INSTRUCTIONS: We have developed a series of questions for you to answer as you go through this case study. If you have not yet done so, download and print a copy of the WORKSHEET from the References panel at the right.

Then move to the next screen by clicking on the arrow in the upper right-hand corner.


Acknowledgements:This case was developed by Brian Forster & Sue Merkel, Department of Microbiology, Cornell University. The authors would like to thank Angela Hartsock, Jay Worley, Dave Miller, Mitch Thompson, and Dr. Shawn MacLellan for their help in developing this case study.


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Case Studies in Microscopy - Copyright 2003 Cornell University