Month: February 2020

Fleas

Fleas

Feb 7th – The flea’s diminutive size has made it a global symbol of insignificance. But as carriers of typhus and tapeworms – not to mention bubonic plague – fleas will not be ignored. One of the original subjects of microscopic examination (early microscopes were called “flea glasses”), fleas can now boast of nearly 3,000 …

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Gonorrhea

Gonorrhea

Feb 5th – The clap, or gonorrhea, is one of the most common sexually transmitted diseases. (The word “clap” comes from “clapier,” the old French word for brothel.) According to the World Health Organization, gonorrhea causes “infections principally of the urethra in men and endocervix in women, although it may also infect extragenital mucosal sites, …

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Cholera

Cholera

Feb 3rd – There was never a time when anyone loved cholera. Gabriel García Márquez notwithstanding, the sufferings of romantic entanglements are only marginally comparable to those of V. cholerae infections. When this water-borne bacteria pursues its victims, it produces a toxin that attacks the lining of the small intestine. Yes, the stomach-churning discomfort is …

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Chlamydia

Chlamydia

Feb 2nd – Chlamydia is perhaps the most common of all sexually transmitted diseases, though it is comparatively unsung. While it can produce symptoms such as discharges, burning sensations, abnormal bleeding, pain, and nausea, these symptoms are easily confused with those caused by gonorrhea. In addition, in nearly three quarters of women and nearly half …

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Chagas disease

Chagas disease

Feb 1st – In 1909, Brazilian scientist Carlos Chagas described a new disease – Chagas disease. He also identified its cause: a newly discovered Trypanosoma protozoan, which he named “trypanosoma cruzi” to recognize fellow Brazilian physician Oswaldo Cruz’s heroic efforts to fight yellow fever, bubonic plague, and smallpox. Chagas also identified the primary source of …

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