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CLUE: Dictionary

AGUE. A fever marked by recurring paroxysms of chills and sweating.

ANEMIA. A condition in which the blood is deficient in red blood cells, in hemoglobin, or in total volume; victims often appear pale and weak.

ANTIMONY. A heavy metal found in many medicines used to treat fevers. It causes vomiting, sweating, and purging of the bowels. Chronic exposure to antimony compounds can cause nausea, vomiting, "antimony spots" (scaly skin blemishes), and anemia, often progressing to circulatory collapse and death.

AQUAVIT. Colorless or yellowish alcohol distilled from potatoes, commonly used as a medicinal spirit.

BLACK DEATH. See plague.

BUBO. See plague.

FEVER. A rise of body temperature above the normal, usually in response to an infectious disease.

GROG. A mixture of rum and water served to a ship's crew twice daily. To ward off scurvy, citrus juice is often added.

INFLUENZA. An acute highly contagious viral disease characterized by sudden onset, fever, severe aches and pains, and respiratory problems. Not usually fatal, although the Great Influenza Epidemic of 1918-19 killed millions of people worldwide. Always a threat to the young, the elderly, and those weakened by disease or injury. Swine (pigs) and ducks seem to be a natural reservoir for influenza viruses. Also called flu.

JAMES'S POWDER. A popular fever reducer from 1760 into the 1800s, made of A compound containing antimony and calcium phosphate.

JAUNDICE. Yellow coloration of the skin and tissues, often a symptom of liver failure.

MIASMA. A vaporous exhalation, especially one rising from stagnant water or filth, formerly believed to cause disease.

PHLEBOTOMY. Letting blood from a patient, usually by opening a vein, as a method of treating disease.

PLAGUE. Bubonic plague, also called the Black Death. An acute contagious disease caused by a bacterium, carried by rats and transmitted to humans by fleas. First symptoms include headaches, dizziness and fatigue; then buboes (swollen lymph nodes) appear, followed by nerve spasms, blackening of the skin from internal bleeding, and death.

POLIO. Poliomyelitis. An acute very infectious viral disease characterized by high fever followed by visible paralysis and atrophy of skeletal muscles, often with permanent disability.

QUARANTINE. Strict isolation imposed to prevent the spread of an infectious disease.

RABIES. An acute viral disease of the nervous system of warm-blooded animals. First symptoms include numbness, restlessness, fatigue, a slight fever and drooling; these progress to confusion and delirium, muscle spasms, high fever, a morbid fear of water, and violent behavior, including biting. Rabies almost always is fatal. It is usually transmitted through contact with the saliva of a rabid animal.

SCURVY. A human disease marked by spongy gums, loosening of the teeth, and skin blackened by internal bleeding; ultimately fatal. Caused by prolonged lack of Vitamin C.

SUSS. To figure out; a British word.

VIS MEDICATRIX. (Latin) The healing power of nature.

YELLOW FEVER. An acute destructive infectious disease of warm regions. It is marked by sudden onset, fever and aches, followed by jaundice, hemorrhage, and vomiting. Death occurs in about 10% of its victims. Caused by a virus transmitted by a mosquito. See also Yellow Jack.

YELLOW JACK. 1) A flag raised on ships that are under quarantine. 2) Slang name for yellow fever.

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