EL CAJON, Calif. (KGTV) - Amid a spike in omicron cases among children, an East County teen is describing his weeks-long, ongoing COVID battle.
Kaiden Odom, 15, first started feeling sick around Jan. 10.
"A little drowsy, stuffy nose, and a little light-headed,” Kaiden said.
The Santana High School sophomore tested positive for COVID, and within days, his symptoms became more severe. From fevers and chest pains to breathing issues. He now uses an inhaler to help with his chest tightness.
“Had trouble breathing-coughing attacks. I would be coughing a bunch, and I wouldn’t stop … the chest pains were a stabbing in my chest,” Kaiden said.
More recently, he has been dealing with nightly hallucinations.
“Started hearing things and seeing things sometimes. I remember one night, I woke up, and I was hearing whispering in my ear," Kaiden said. "It’s super strange. I’ve never experienced this before."
In the past few weeks, he's made two trips to the ER. Kaiden, who plays baseball at Santana High, has no underlying conditions.
“The doctor said he thinks it’s the omicron variant based on his symptoms,” Kaiden’s mother, Corinne Odom, said.
He received the Pfizer vaccine doses at the end of the summer but does not yet qualify for a booster.
His brothers, ages two, nine and 11, all contracted COVID and suffered milder symptoms.
Early data suggests omicron generally causes less severe symptoms among children, but because it's more contagious, the surge in cases has led to more hospitalizations.
As for Kaiden, nearly three weeks into his COVID battle, he says he's feeling better but still dealing with fever and other symptoms.
“Tight chest and coughs that I just don't want to stay here … I don’t know what to say. COVID sucks,” Kaiden said.
He is sharing his story in hopes of helping others, especially children.
“I don’t want people to feel alone who may be in the same case as me. It’s super weird how it attacks the body differently with everybody," Kaiden said. "That’s partly what I want to share with people and other kids."
Tests ruled out any heart issues for Kaiden.
On Wednesday, he’s scheduled to undergo tests for multisystem inflammatory syndrome, a rare but serious condition associated with COVID.