CLUE: More Dictionary Definitions
metallic element formerly used to make many medicines for the treatment
of 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
APOTHECARIST, APOTHECARY. One
who prepares medicines or drugs; pharmacist.
food poisoning caused by the bacterium Clostridium botulinum, an obligate
anaerobe that often grows in canned foods that have not been heated to
kill all bacteria. A bulging can or a pffft sound when opening may indicate
contamination. Botulin toxins cause muscle paralysis; if respiratory muscles
become paralyzed, the victim dies.
process of sealing foodstuffs into cans under heat, a process that became
commercially viable in the early 18th century. Both chemical and microbial
contamination can cause cans to bloat or pressurize; such cans should
be discarded (see botulism).
relatively minor viral disease of cattle, often transmitted to humans
that milk them. It causes pox (pustules) on the hands and arms but generally
is not fatal. Because the cowpox virus is very similar to the smallpox
virus, people who had cowpox are immune to smallpox. See immunity.
from something. People who have had a viral disease generally are resistant
to re-infection for a time, because viruses generally stimulate a response
from the immune system. Vaccines confer immunity by stimulating a similiar
response; see vaccination.
act of exposing someone to a disease. In medicine, this is usually done
with a weakened form of a disease to generate immunity from a more injurious
occurrence. Beginning in 1796, doctors began inoculating some people with
cowpox, because cowpox generated immunity to the much deadlier smallpox.
heavy metallic element. Exposure to lead compounds can cause anemia, mood
swings, intense abdominal cramps, confusion and brain damage. Nerve paralysis
usually begins with the hands. Before 1950, about 25% of all severe cases
ended in death.
matter that becomes incandescent upon entering the earth's atmosphere.
meteor that reaches the surface of the earth.
pile; garbage heap.
injurious or destructive; deadly.
plague. A deadlier form of bubonic plague in which bacteria spread from
lymph nodes to the lungs, causing pneumonia. Victims can transmit pneumonic
plague directly via droplets in the air.
Inflammation of the lungs leading to fluid leakage and loss of function
of lung tissue. Although it's often associated with pneumococcus bacteria,
pneumonia can be caused by a variety of microbial or chemical irritants.
acute contagious viral disease, often fatal, transmitted from contact
with an infected person or their belongings. Victims suffer first from
a high fever, which abates; soon after, the skin erupts in a fiery rash
that develops into pustules which leave deep scars (pocks) on survivors.
The rash usually begins in the face, progressing to chest, arms then legs.
Death occurs if at any time the virus attacks the heart, liver, or other
internal organs. One of mankind's most pernicious diseases, smallpox became
the target of a worldwide vaccination effort. Sweden was the first country
to be smallpox-free, in 1895. In 1979, the World Health Organization reported
that, except for a few vials kept in deep freeze, smallpox had been eliminated
from the earth.
administration of weakened or killed micro-organisms in order to induce
or strengthen the immune response.
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