Dei'ah veDibur - Information & Insight

A Window into the Chareidi World

6 Tammuz 5761 - June 27, 2001 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly








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Home and Family
Your Medical Questions Answered!
by Joseph B. Leibman, MD

Diplomate, Board Certification of Emergency Medicine

Chairman, Department of Emergency Medicine Ma'ayenei Hayeshua Hospital

Three more new diseases will be discussed briefly. (Editor's Note: Dr. Leibman actually prepared this article before the previous one which was said to be the last one discussing infectious diseases. We take the blame for putting in this one out of order.)

A 22-year-old hiker who died in New York after hiking was found to have died of hantavirus, named after the town in Korea where it was first discovered. Found in the excrement of a certain field mouse, if inhaled through the dust created by hiking in the dry dirt, it causes a bad pneumonia that has very often been fatal in young people. We haven't seen it in Israel yet, but be aware.

Jack-in-the-Box was the name of a chain of fast food stores in the USA. People who ate there became very ill, with vomiting, blood diarrhea, high fever, then progressing to kidney failure and internal bleeding. Named the hemolytic uremic syndrome, it was found to be caused by a strain of E Coli -- the most common bacteria to cause diarrhea in travelers and urinary tract infections. Somehow it had learned how to make a very dangerous toxin in meat that wasn't cooked properly.

We thought that the treatment would be easy, as we knew this bacteria well, but an amazing article a year and a half ago in one of the most prestigious journals proved that antibiotics kill this bacteria and make it release all of its toxins at once, making this disease even more difficult to treat. Jack-in-the-Box has since gone out of business.

Lyme, Connecticut was the scene of a new disease about twenty years ago. People who had mild cold symptoms later developed characteristic rashes, arthritis and occasionally heart disease. These all developed weeks later and it was discovered that this was caused by a new worm-shaped bacteria. It is transmitted by a very small deer tick, so if you have discovered a tick on your body or have deer in your neighborhood, you should keep this disease -- Lyme disease -- in mind.

Babeosis found originally in the New England area and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, originally found in Colorado, are now found all over the world and are also transmitted by ticks, albeit a bigger tick.

Again, we have come a long way. We have conquered polio and small pox, yet new dangerous diseases have taken their place. Write me in care of the Yated.

A message from Glaxo, sponsor of this column. Flixonase is a medication that is inhaled that reduces asthma symptoms in those who are chronic sufferers. It will not help acutely, but it is a safe and proven method to help prevent acute attacks. When combined with Serevent (see last week), it provides all the protection recommended by today's asthma experts.


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