Thursday, March 17, 2005
Disease of the Week
Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the disease of the week: Herpetic Whitlow. (No, I do NOT have this disease; I simply read about it and thought I'd declare it the disease of the week.) Herpetic Whitlow is basically a herpes infection on your finger (but it can occur elsewhere). (This is a great way to start a conversation about the disease--just say to someone, out of the blue, "Did you know that you can get herpes on your finger??!") You get it when you have a cold sore and spread the virus to a cut on your finger (it's most commonly associated with HSV1, which is the oral herpes virus). This is why you should always wash your hands after touching a cold sore, because the virus is very infectious. Note: if you have a cold sore, be doubly sure to not touch your eye, because it can spread there, and that's serious. I guess that means if you have herpetic whitlow then you also have the power to give herpes to anyone you touch (if you touch their lips or broken skin). It causes basically the same symptoms as a cold sore: blisters with redness that pop and then scab over, etc.; and treatment is similar, addressing symptoms and aiming to shorten the duration of flareups, which also occur like those in oral herpes. Complications in herpetic whitlow include bacterial infection of the sore and possible spread of the virus. I gathered that spread of the virus is rare, but as with any infection, if it goes systemic, that's some heavy shitz, although I can't really find much about it from googling. Healthcare workers who don't wear gloves are at risk for contracting HW, among other things, I'd imagine.
So that's the disease of the week.
As for the person who landed on this blog by searching the phrase Does fish oil restore color to hair? I can tell you unequivocally: No, it doesn't.
And that's today's St. Patrick's Day beep. Happy drinking! And if you watch Montel Williams, look out for Jason, who participated in a taping of it today.