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A fast-killing, curable disease

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#1 D. Thomas Clark

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Posted 05 September 2013 - 10:37 PM

Hi everyone. I'm kind of stuck on my WIP for right now. I'm trying to find a disease, preferably one that's uncommon, that can be fatal if the doctors don't know what they're looking for. This disease is also one that would need to be able to be cured quickly and without surgery, but with some kind of medicine. Does such a thing exist? 



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Posted 05 September 2013 - 10:40 PM

Watch old episodes of House, or even just browse the episode guides for ideas. You're bound to find something exotic, deadly and easily cured :smile:



#3 E.B. Black

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Posted 05 September 2013 - 11:47 PM

I don't know if these are exotic enough, but . . .

 

Menongitis (a bacterial swelling of the brain) is one. It develops rather quickly because it's an infection of the brain and I knew a teenager who died of it and my little brother almost died of it as a new born baby. Because the symptoms develop so fast and can be mistaken for something less serious (because they are things like headaches, fever, and muscle aches), then a lot of people don't catch it in time. You usually have to catch it within days of it occurring (waiting as much as 24 hours with symptoms can kill you.) And doctors might not think it's meningitis right away. They're probably reluctant to check for it because it involves sticking a gigantic needle up someone's spine. And the only way to cure it is through antibiotics. The people are usually fine if you get them the antibiotics in time, but die if you don't.

 

Hope that helps!


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#4 Darke

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Posted 06 September 2013 - 05:34 AM

What about some form of flesh-eating disease?

 

http://en.wikipedia....izing_fasciitis


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#5 nickolasray

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Posted 06 September 2013 - 06:54 AM

There are also lots of parasites (other than viruses and bacteria) that are capable of causing the situation that you desire. There are LOTS of those around the world that people in other parts of the world wouldn't think to check of in a million years. I can't think of any just off the top of my head but that might be another option for you to research.



#6 LucidDreamer

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Posted 06 September 2013 - 08:01 AM

Bubonic Plague (yes, it still exists). Curable with antibiotics if diagnosed in time. If not...



#7 paladinpeter

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Posted 06 September 2013 - 08:33 AM

If you don't like any of those options (or if you don't want to do the research), there are literally millions of poisons known to man (and probably just as many hitherto unknown).  You could invent a poison of your own and most of your readers would be none the wiser.



#8 Josh L

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Posted 06 September 2013 - 11:07 AM

While rabies does take a few weeks/months to incubate and travel through the nervous system, the final symptoms (if left untreated) can kill within days.

 

Like in that episode of Scrubs, it would have actually been irresponsible of them to test for rabies when dealing with a critical situation since it's so rarely encountered, much less treated. And when the patients did show symptoms, it was far too late to do anything about it.


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#9 D. Thomas Clark

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Posted 06 September 2013 - 07:06 PM

Wow, I wasn't expecting so many responses so quickly on this. 

 

 

I don't know if these are exotic enough, but . . .

 

Menongitis (a bacterial swelling of the brain) is one. It develops rather quickly because it's an infection of the brain and I knew a teenager who died of it and my little brother almost died of it as a new born baby. Because the symptoms develop so fast and can be mistaken for something less serious (because they are things like headaches, fever, and muscle aches), then a lot of people don't catch it in time. You usually have to catch it within days of it occurring (waiting as much as 24 hours with symptoms can kill you.) And doctors might not think it's meningitis right away. They're probably reluctant to check for it because it involves sticking a gigantic needle up someone's spine. And the only way to cure it is through antibiotics. The people are usually fine if you get them the antibiotics in time, but die if you don't.

 

Hope that helps!

Actually, less exotic is better. I just couldn't think of any that could be cured with antibiotics and it was hard for me to find out how to research it. I wasn't getting any results. 

 

So now that I knew what to look for, this looks like it's just what I need for this point in the novel. Thanks E.B.! And I see a nice round 1000 posts, very nice!

 

Thanks to everyone else for the input too; I'll come here first if I'm having trouble next time!  :laugh:



#10 Jennie

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Posted 07 September 2013 - 12:35 AM

Bubonic Plague (yes, it still exists). Curable with antibiotics if diagnosed in time. If not...

 

Bah! I was going to say this and you stole it! ;)


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#11 klnorton

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Posted 10 September 2013 - 01:53 AM

P. falciparum malaria can also kill someone within 24 hours if it goes undiagnosed. And it's easily treated with pills. The symptoms can sometimes by trickier to treat, especially if you get to a more severe condition.


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#12 Darke

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Posted 10 September 2013 - 06:18 AM

This thread is enough to turn anyone into a hypochondriac.


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#13 Corin.Hamelton

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Posted 01 November 2013 - 03:16 AM

Be sure you look up signs and symptoms for bacterial meningitis. I would add that we actually maintain a high index of suspicion for meningitis when we encounter a patient with a few of the S/S.  For example: if I have a patient with fever, stiff neck, headache, photosensitivity, rash, etc. then I am going to gown up and alert the receiving hospital.  From there, it becomes top of the list of suspects because it is a relatively common affliction.

 

In point of fact, most medical problems that we see in an emergency setting are easily diagnosed with bloodwork, or chest x-ray or CT.  Blood tests may reveal the presence of troponin levels that are indicative of cardiac distress (heart attacks to myocarditis) or "D-dimers" when there is respiratory distress (usually from a Pulmonary Embolus but sometimes present secondary to other lung problems, like pneumonia)....

 

We have a saying in medicine: when you hear hooves, expect horses not zebras.

 

If anyone else wants to search for diseases in this category, I would use the keywords: uncommon curable diseases.


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#14 Centurion

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Posted 26 November 2013 - 11:33 AM

I would suggest cholera or dysentry (both of these have something to do with poo, so beware). These were more common in the olden days. They are quite lethal but can also be cured with proper medication. A lot of the ones listed above are awesome options as well. Hopefully you find what you're looking for. Best of luck ^^







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