• Question: what is the most saveer ill you had to deal with ?

    Asked by veronica17 to Rob, Richard, Cheryl, Alex on 23 Sep 2019.
    • Photo: Cheryl Williams

      Cheryl Williams answered on 20 Sep 2019:


      Our lab received samples from a patient with necrotising fasciitis. This particular case was caused by a bacterium called Group A Streptococcus. This bacteria usually only causes minor infections like strep throat and scarlet fever, but sometimes if it gets into a wound and is left untreated it can become a severe illness. The treatment is antibiotics and operations to remove the infected tissue. This sometimes means amputating an arm or a leg. Unfortunately the patient did not survive despite the best efforts of the medical team looking after them.

    • Photo: Rob Ives

      Rob Ives answered on 25 Sep 2019:


      I don’t work with the patients themselves, but I have worked with some really scary diseases and infections. Many years ago (well, not that many) I used to research diseases such as yellow fever, malaria, HIV, polio and some really scary strains of flu. All of these disease have caused millions of people to die and through history malaria, flu and AIDS (the syndrome caused by HIV) have killed more people than any other diseases or events (such as war).

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