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Parasite?

Posted on Mon Jul 27th, 2020 @ 4:57am by The Narrator & Lieutenant Commander Alexei Donaurov DO, MPH, MSSI

Mission: Mission 1: Best Laid Plans
Location: Planetside

The old man had been brought in by two young women. At first, nurse Haywood had thought he was another victim of the recent Reka attack, but as the women told their story, it was clear that he had been far away from any areas that had been hit. They kept directing Haywood to his leg, on which lay an ugly yellow and purple bruise.

“That should be easy enough to fix,” Haywood declared. “A simple bruise is all. It looks like his body has done most of the healing already.”

“But it’s not a bruise!” Insisted the younger of the two, who had identified herself as the man’s granddaughter. “The healers here treat him for it and in a few days, it reappears, even if he’s done nothing but sit in his chair and read!”

“Hm,” mused Haywood, brow wrinkling gin thought. She pulled out a tricorder and scanned the area, but found nothing. “I’m going to find a pathologist,” she decided. “Just in case. I’ll be right back.”

She found none other than Commander Donaurov not ten steps away. “Excuse me, Doctor?” she said as she approached. “I have a patient presenting with what looks like a bruise, but his granddaughter says that the bruise reappears whenever it is healed, even if he has done nothing at all. Would you mind taking a look? Maybe there’s a parasite or something, I don’t know.”

Donaurov, of course, was an epidemiologist, not a pathologist. But he was an infectious disease specialist, so this might be be right up his alley. Maybe.

"Let me take a look," Alexei said. "I'm Doctor Donaurov. I'm just going to take a look here, alright?" He put on gloves, a mast, and a faceshield. "Please pardon all of this, but I've found that it's better to be safe than sorry." He looked at the bruise. He scanned it with his own medical tricorder, then put the tricorder away. "Does it hurt on its own, when nothing is touching it?"

"I ne'er even notice it, 'less one o' them two point it out," answered the old man.

Alexei nodded. "How about now?" Alexei gently but firmly probed the bruise with a finger, applying pressure in different places on the bruise and around the edges. "Let me know if you feel any pain when I press on the bruise and around it."

The old man frowned and shook his head. "Nothin'," he replied.

"Hmm," Alexei said. "Very curious. So, let's eliminate some possible factors. Have you changed anything about your normal routine lately? Body soap, shampoo, laundry detergent, lotions, could their be something new in your diet?"

“Not that I know of,” answered grandpa. “She cooks m’meals,” he added, nodding to his granddaughter.

“I haven’t changed a thing,” answered the granddaughter.

"Is it possible something bit you? An insect of some kind?" Alexei asked. Alexei looked at the bruise again. "Taking a closer look at it now, it could be an insect bite. Here, let me check for something." He made several adjustments to his tricorder and then scanned the bruise again. "Ah ha!" he said. "There's traces of some kind of venom in the bruise. I'm guessing something bit you. The venom is interacting with the blood in the vicinity of the bite, causing the discoloration. It looks like a bruise, but isn't one. I'm not familiar with local insect life or all that familiar with local diseases, but one of your medical people did advise us of an insect sometimes found around medical camps, drawn to them by the blood, waste, and corpses. They told me it could spread parasitic infection, so let's see..." Alexei scanned the bruise again, and then scanned the man from head to toe. "I'm not detecting any parasitic infections at this time." Alexei put the tricorder away. "Tell you what. We've got a general antiparasitic. I'll give you an initial dose of that and a short course for you to take home with you, and I'll give you that shot to neutralize the venom in that not-quite-bruise on your leg. However, I want you to see one of your local medical professionals as soon as you can, just to make sure I didn't miss anything. Before you go, one of my assistants will go through a questionaire with you, just some background information that will help us determine if there's a larger public health concern." Alexei transmitted the medication orders from his PaDD to Haywood's PaDD. He pulled out a hypospray, loaded it with the antiparasitic, and injected the man. Then Alexei swapped ampule and shot the antivenom in to the man's arm. "There we go. Now, by the time you're done with my assistant, your take home prescription will be ready and Nurse Haywood will make sure you get your pills before you leave. The whole thing won't take more than five minutes. Before I leave you in Nurse Haywood's very capable hands, do you have any questions for me?"

"Don't think so," replied grandpa. "Thank you kindly, sir. I'll be sure to pass that information along to my healer. I hope there's no more of them buggers about."

"Yes, thank you!" agreed the granddaughter. "It's not often our healers are stumped."

"It was my pleasure," Alexei said. "Now, if you'll excuse me."

"Of course, doctor," said Haywood, who had retrieved the requested medicine. She went over the notes the doctor had transferred to her, gave them the medicine and sent them on their way. She then turned to see where else she could be of use.

 

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