Category Archives: Medical Conditions

yellow fever

Viral infection prevalent in Central and South America and Africa, which occurs in Western Europe in travellers from these areas. The virus multiplies in the Aedes mosquito, and for the rest of its life span the insect can transmit the virus to man. There are two kinds of yellow fever, the urban variety, in which human beings carry the virus, and the jungle type in which a mosquito transmits the virus to man from infected monkeys.

The virus causes damage to the liver and the kidneys and the onset of the disease is marked by high fever (40°C), severe headaches, back and muscular pain. The mucous membranes of the mouth, nose and throat swell and become painful; the patient complains of pains in the stomach, nausea and vomiting. Jaundice sets in after a few days, with slight skin, stomach and intestinal bleeding, and the kidneys are also affected. In mild cases the condition begins to improve after a few days, in serious ones a second period of fever begins, after an initial improvement. At this stage organ failure and death are not uncommon.

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Von Recklinghausen’s disease

Hereditary disorder involving characteristic skin patches and tumours of the skin and nerve tissue. In the nerves of spinal cord and brain, neurinomas and neurofibromas usually occur; they are normally both benign tumours. They can be very close to the spinal cord or brain, and cause discomfort by pressure. On rare occasions neurofibromas can becomeContinue Reading

wart (verruca)

Benign swelling of the skin that results from a virus infection. Warts measure anything from a few millimetres to a few centimetres in diameter and can occur anywhere on the skin. A wart begins as a small excrescence of the upper layers of the skin. This swelling expands into a small growth typically resembling aContinue Reading

ventricular septal defect

Hole in the septum between the heart’s ventricles. Ventricular septum defect is a congenital heart disorder; only in exceptional cases does it occur spontaneously, for example after a heart attack in which part of the septum dies. The consequence of a congenital ventricular septum defect is that blood flows from the left ventricle (where bloodContinue Reading

Weight loss

Persistent decrease in body weight, in medical terms including only abnormal cases, not justifiable or desired weight loss. Weight loss can have many causes, by no means all of them dependent on conditions of the digestive organs. The conditions which may be responsible can be divided into two principal groups: malabsorption (difficulties in absorbing foodContinue Reading

Vertebral disc disorders

Conditions relating to the elastic discs of cartilage between the spinal vertebrae. The spinal column derives its flexilibity from these discs. These disorders are frequently accompanied by vertebral conditions. They usually lead to a restriction in the mobility of the spinal column and are often combined with pain. The best-known vertebral disc condition is dorsalContinue Reading

Weil’s disease (leptospirosis)

Disease caused by the bacterium Leptospira icterohaemorrhagiae, which usually infects rodents living in the wild. This disease occurs the world over. The animals, mainly brown rats, excrete the bacterium along with their urine. The bacteria survive better in fresh water and the chances of humans becoming infected are greatest in a damp area where thereContinue Reading

Vertigo

Collective name for a number of sensations of movement, dizziness or a feeling of lightheadedness. The sensation can be of spinning or falling away, and is caused by disorders of the inner ear, of the eighth cranial nerve (which carries stimuli from the auditory organs and the organs of balance), the brain stem or theContinue Reading

welder’s eye

Acute inflammation of the cornea as a result of exposure of the eye to ultraviolet radiation, as from arc welding and UV lamps; a form of ophthalmia. It causes damage to the cornea which becomes evident 6 to 12 hours after exposure to the UV light. The eye can also be exposed to excessive quantitiesContinue Reading

Vincent’s angina

Inflammation of the tonsils and often also of surrounding mouth and throat tissue by bacteria normally present in the mouth, but which cause serious infection in the event of reduced resistance or serious nutritional deficiencies. The usual complaints are pain in the mouth and difficulty in swallowing, sometimes with general malaise and fever. There isContinue Reading

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