All posts by doctorswithoutwaitingrooms


Liver Health: Diagnosis And Risks Of Cirrhosis

Learning about cirrhosis can be intimidating. Let our experts walk you through the facts, the questions, and the answers to help you better understand this condition.

Timeline: 0:00 Introduction 0:24 What is cirrhosis? 1:05 Who gets cirrhosis? / Risk factors 2:03 Symptoms of cirrhosis 2:49 How is cirrhosis diagnosed? 3:38 Treatment options 4:42 Coping methods/ What now? 5:17 Ending

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Viruses: The History And Treatment Of Rabies

Rabies has been known since ancient times, and continues to produce thousands of deaths each year, primarily in Asia and Africa, almost invariably from the bite of an infected animal. There is usually at least a 2-3 week incubation period, while the virus is traveling up the nerves to the brain. This allows a period of time for a prophylactic vaccine treatment. Once symptoms actually develop, however, the disease is almost universally fatal.

Rabies is present as a Reservoir in wild animals. For this reason, flavorful baits laced with oral rabies vaccine are often sprinkled throughout endemic areas near human settlements, an expensive, although cost effective treatment. A bite from any wild animal is worrisome, but, in the United States, Bats are the main source of infection. The last fatal case of rabies in the United States occurred in an Illinois man who awakened with a bat on his neck. He refused Rabies vaccine and was dead within two weeks.

Dog bite used to be the most common source of rabies in America, but this is no longer the case, due to almost universal Rabies vaccination in American dogs. In India, however, the  biggest  problem is still dogs, which amazingly have recently been protected by law.  India accounts for approximately 1/3 of the worlds rabies fatalities.

The development of rabies vaccine is an interesting story. It was first developed by Louis Pasteur and given in 1885 to a 12-year-old boy who had been mauled by a rabid dog.

The vaccine was prepared from the spinal cord of a rabbit who had the virus growing in his nervous system. Rabbits are very susceptible to rabies, and repeated rabbit passage increases the virulence of the virus. The virulence can be diminished by drying out infected tissue in the air, and  Pasteur used a piece of spinal cord from an infected animal which was dried in the air for several days. The boy was given multiple doses of the vaccine over as many days, and survived. This technological achievement occurred before anybody even knew what a virus was. These invisible, infectious sources were called “filterable viruses”, since the infectious agent could not  be strained out of the blood plasma by passing  it through a filter which effectively removed bacteria, much larger entities.

The Rabies virus has been very clever over the millennia. It modifies the behavior of its victim towards irritability and aggression, which makes transmission of the virus more likely. It is highly concentrated in the salivary glands, increasing the likelihood that the aggressive animal’s bite will transmit the virus.

If you or an acquaintance are bitten under suspicious circumstances, be sure to get the vaccine, which is now been perfected and inactivated so that side effects are most acceptable, considering the almost universal fatality of the disease.

—Dr. C.

Spine Health: Diagnosing & Treating A Herniated Disk

Learning about a herniated disk can be intimidating. Let our experts walk you through the facts, the questions, and the answers to help you better understand this condition.

Timeline: 0:00 Introduction 0:24 What is a herniated disk? 1:16 What causes a herniated disk? / Risk factors 2:10 Symptoms of a herniated disk 2:49 How is a herniated disk diagnosed? 3:38 Treatment options 4:50 Coping methods/ What now? 5:16 Ending

For more reading visit: When it comes to your health, Mayo Clinic believes credible and clear information is paramount. There’s a lot to learn about a herniated disk. We’re here to help.

Infographic: Colonic Diverticular Disease

Acid Reflux: Signs That It May Be Esophageal Cancer

THE DIFFICULTY in treating cancer lies in its deadly ability to evolve. Picked up early, however, much can be done to avert death, so unusual changes to a body’s functioning should never be ignored. Acid reflux – a known precursor for oesophageal cancer – may present warning signs before turning cancerous, according to experts.