Feet First

“It is much more important to know what sort of a patient has a disease than what sort of a disease a patient has.” - Sir William Osler

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    Tuesday, March 18, 2003
    Work continues on the mystery respiratory infection originating in Southeast Asia. Looks like we're down to nine reported cases in the U.S. We now know it's a virus, but it will be interesting to see if it is a variant form of influenza or some other type of virus. There's some evidence that it may be a paramyxovirus, but this has not been confirmed by the CDC. These bugs cause various respiratory illnesses known as parainfluenzas - meaning like the flu, but not caused by the flu virus. Most parainfluenzas are pediatric in nature, and adults don't seem so subsceptible to them. The classic example would be croup, which is a parainfluenza. If that's what this is, it seems to be a more virulent form than the usual respiratory virus.



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