An excerpt from Seductive Delusions: How Everyday People Catch STIs. Dear Ashley, Your blood count and mono test did not show any signs of mononucleosis infection. Unfortunately, however, your throat swab was positive for gonorrhea. Please schedule an appointment today in urgent care so you can be treated with the appropriate shot ...

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It’s still flu season, although the flu gods have shown a bit more mercy than in years past.  So many variables determine whether each winter brings a relatively mild flu season, a “flunami,” or something in between.  I’m a country boy doing primary care in the city, and I have only a modest understanding of which influenza strain is circulating, the concepts of antigenic drift and shift, and how the ...

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The Zika virus in the news these days reminds us of another microcephaly-causing virus which scourged our world in the not-so-distant past. In the years right before we were born (the late 1960s), the virus rubella routinely swept through the United States and the rest of the world. The airborne germ rubella, just like the Zika virus, caused most people just a mild illness that they usually never even knew that they ...

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I recently told you of my admiration for Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha, the Michigan pediatrician and epidemiologist whose strong research and advocacy was able to finally bring a shining light to the problem of lead in the water supply of Flint. Continuing with a theme, I now bring you the story of Dr. Adriana Melo of Campina Grande, Brazil. Dr. Melo is an OB-GYN who subspecializes in maternal-fetal medicine (MFM), the branch ...

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1. Zika is an infectious disease caused by a virus and transmitted by mosquitoes. It is one of four worrisome viral infections that have spread rapidly across the world recently including dengue, chikungunya, and West Nile virus, all of which are transmitted by mosquitoes or ticks. The most dangerous mosquito type is the one that spreads yellow fever (Aedes). 2. Though Zika is mostly spread by mosquito bites, there is emerging ...

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It’s January 2016. News stories have inspired significant anxiety about Zika virus. It’s a scary topic because news about the outbreaks are just unfolding, and this affects an already anxious group: pregnant mamas and expecting families. I want to share with you real-time information and data to try to alleviate anxiety and educate the best I can. I suspect with time some of this will change. I’ve curated the most common questions and answers ...

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There is no doubt that Zika is causing worldwide hysteria as a rapidly spreading virus with potential of pandemic proportions. The virus is transmitted by the Aedes aegypti mosquito, which also carries both dengue fever and yellow fever. While a relatively innocuous virus with 80 percent of those affected being asymptomatic, mild symptoms of illness such as fever, rash, joint pain, and conjunctivitis are associated. The most worrisome outcome of this ...

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Sometimes as a travel medicine doctor you feel like Red Riding Hood’s mother. Your patients come in asking for advice about upcoming travels. Much like Red’s mother you want to wrap your patients up in a protective cape and guide them on safe travels. You want to teach them to avoid any wolves that may be lurking out there. Like impetuous teenagers, your patients don’t always listen. And Zika virus just made it worse ...

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To many, the extent to which Charlie Sheen tried to keep his HIV status from becoming public knowledge came as a surprise -- and suggests that HIV-related stigma and discrimination remains pervasive despite strides that have been made in fighting the disease. Diagnosed nearly four years ago, Sheen reported paying more than $10 million in bribes to keep his HIV status secret. Sheen decided to go public, he told Matt Lauer ...

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The clues are usually there, even in the hardest of cases. They just aren’t presented to you on a silver platter. Gwen Stephenson had an ill-defined polyarthritis and had been on methotrexate for some time. Her rheumatologist, Norm Fahler, had tapered her off the medication while keeping an eye on her inflammatory markers and they had leveled off at just above the normal range. Seven or eight years ago, Gwen had suffered ...

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