Fever and Sweats
A 63-year-old international telecommunications executive visits your office with complaints of a high fever. The fever is not constant, but intermittent. When you press him for details he estimates that every three days or so he suffers these debilitating “sweats.” He usually has headaches and muscle aches during the episodes. They keep him home from work. After half a day or so he feels better. He reports that he has experienced these episodes for about two months.
What is the name of the condition you suspect?
What should be your first question about the patient’s history?
What is the most likely causative agent (genus and species)? Support your answer.
Which is the most dangerous of the species that can cause this disease. Give some details.
Is this pathogen eukaryotic or prokaryotic?
What are the two main places in the human body that are exploited by the causative organism in this disease?
Can an individual transmit this infection to others? Why or why not?
What are some current strategies for combating this disease in endemic regions? Research and give details of your findings.
Reference: Cowan, M. K. (2002) The microbe files: Cases in microbiology for the undergraduate (pp. 51-52). San Francisco, CA: Benjamin Cummings.
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