Monday, April 6, 2009

I am never eating sushi again

Today was my first day as a copy editor at the journal. Things were, of course, slow. I was given the obligatory tour (location of supplies cabinets, women's room, break room and vending machines), and then got to kill time waiting for the IT guy to get there to get me networked to a printer and push a couple pieces of specialized software on to the computer. So I spent the time doing the logical thing: reading the journal to get a feel for its style.

I learned a number of things. There certainly are a lot of unpronounceable pathogens out there. There are lot more zoonotic diseases than I thought possible -- and it's not just various critters passing diseases to us, we're passing diseases to them, too.

And I'm never eating sushi again.
[The patient] visited HTD again with a serpiginous, raised lesion on his back and surrounding erythema and eosinophilia (0.9 × 109 cells/L). He was treated empirically with albendazole, 400 mg 2×/d for 21 days, and praziquantel, 20 mg/kg as a single dose, for presumptive diagnosis of helminthic infection. Over the next 6 days, the serpiginous lesion migrated over his shoulder and neck, disappeared for 24 hours, then reappeared between his eyebrows, moved to his forehead and face, and then was felt inside his nose. On day 6, a spot developed below his left nostril, from which he expressed a larva. He brought it to HTD, where it was identified as Gnathostoma spinigerum.
In short, he'd picked up parasitic worms by eating raw fish.


  1. Hate move. What is all that garbage - 150 words to say the guy expelled a larva through his nose. Actually, I'm impressed because I know most of the words and their meanings. But even through the diseases and symptoms, you have to find some humor - somewhere.

  2. Medicalese -- it's what pays my bills. I love "presumptive diagnosis of helminthic infection." Translation: "we think the dude has worms, but we won't know for sure until one crawls out his nose."

  3. eeeewww. And there's the reason I went to law school instead of med school...


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