Gone Viral: The Germs that Share Our Lives
Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub
Featuring 15 infectious diseases—eight bacteria, six viruses, and a parasite—and one friendly fungus, this book explores significant medical themes and highlights the effect micro-organisms have on modern life. Hilarious, informative, yet deeply moving, it discusses each disease while weaving true stories of patients and their families and the difficulties doctors face. Touching upon the swine flu, golden staph, SARS, hepatitis, and HIV, this account teaches crucial lessons about public health and the human experience of disease.
AIDS. The symptoms of PCP are mild to begin with and can take several weeks to reach a point where the immunosuppressed patient seeks medical attention. If untreated it is invariably fatal. ‘By the pricking of my thumbs, something wicked this way comes … ’ (from Macbeth, by William Shakespeare, 1564–1616) During the last week of September 1989 I admitted a seriously ill man to Fairfield. The patient – I’ll call him Peter J – was in his 40s. In the preceding few weeks he had noticed that he
then firing on one cylinder. In the typical out-of-hospital setting, a spontaneous pneumothorax occurs in fit, tall, young males and the consequences are serious but rarely life-threatening. When the patient is already sick and their oxygenation level is low, it can be a fatal complication, especially if a tension pneumothorax occurs. If this complication was present, the pressure outside the lung would be increasing with each additional inspiration and the heart would be being pushed to one side
hospital environment, continue to intermittently attract media attention. I remember a news conference that was convened after a well known iron man competitor stuck himself on a syringe buried on a beach. Looking more marshmallow than ferrous, the poor guy was visibly disturbed and anxious as he 58 GoneViralText Testnewfont.indd 58 27/04/11 2:11 PM The pricking of my thumb spoke on-camera. He quoted the figures that he had been given for transmission risk that apply to the healthcare
that eschews hierarchy and authority – resulting often in a plethora of policy but a drought of practice. The impasse between medical and nursing staff is no longer a gender issue, more a result of the cultural and industrial divide that exists between the professional groups. The power differential between senior and junior medical personnel is profound, and it is a brave resident who pulls up a boss and tells them to disinfect their hands, especially if that resident is seeking preferment for
inserted so that they can pass urine. However, the fear of a diagnosis of genital herpes is sometimes more distressing than the disease itself; the vast majority of people with genital herpes infection have much milder symptoms, and while attacks can recur for many years, or even for life in some cases, the relapses usually become less frequent and less severe. 112 GoneViralText Testnewfont.indd 112 27/04/11 2:11 PM The pox under our noses For the majority of sufferers, once they get past