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Bitten: True Medical Stories of Bites and Stingsby Pamela Nagami
Synopses & Reviews
We've all been bitten. And we all have stories.
The bite attacks featured in this dramatic book take place in big cities, small towns, and remote villages around the world and throughout history. Some are as familiar and contemporary as encounters with mosquitoes in New York City and snakes in southern California's Hollywood Hills or as exotic and foreign as the tsetse in equatorial Africa, the camel in Riyadh, and the Komodo dragon in Indonesia. While others, such as people biting other people---well, these are in a category of their own.
Among the startling stories and fascinating facts in Bitten.
o A six-year-old girl descends into weeks of extreme lassitude until a surgeon plucks an engorged tick from her scalp.
o A diabetic living in the West Indies awakes one morning to a rat eating his left great and second toes.
o A twenty-eight-year-old man loses a third of his nose to a bite by his wife.
o In San Francisco, after a penile bite, a man develops "flesh-eating strep," which spreads to his lower abdomen.
o Severe bites by rabid animals to the face and digits, because of their rich nerve supply, are the most likely to lead to rabies and have the shortest incubation periods.
o Following the bite of a seal or contact with its tissues, sealers develop such agonizing pain and swelling in their bites that, far from medical care, they sometimes amputate their own fingers.
o Perhaps the most devastating human bite wound injuries are those involving the nose; doctors in Boroko near Papua, New Guinea, reported a series of ninety-five human bites treated in the Division of Surgery from 1986 to 1992---twelve were to the nose, nine in women, and three in men, and in most of the cases, the biter was an angry spouse.
With reports from medical journals, case histories, colleagues, and from her own twenty-eight-year career as a practicing physician and infectious diseases specialist, Pamela Nagami's Bitten offers readers intrigued by human infection and disease and mesmerized by creatures in p0the wild a compulsively readable narrative that is entertaining, sometimes disgusting, and always enjoyable.
"In this fascinating but frightening book, Nagami presents numerous case studies of infections contracted around the world from ants, spiders, mosquitoes, ticks, and other insects and from such larger animals as snakes, rats, alligators, dogs, cats, horses, monkeys and humans. Culling the research of doctors and scientists, Nagami (The Woman with a Worm in Her Head) describes, in accessible language, the symptoms and conditions. Many of the biters and stingers look harmless — like a sand fly that transmits an infection called leishmaniasis, which can eat away a person's nose. Some have a more frightening appearance, like the Indonesian Komodo dragon, the world's largest lizard, which is known to have eaten humans. But even the most familiar can pose grave threats to human health: mosquitoes, which carry West Nile virus, yellow fever and malaria; dogs, whose bites can transmit rabies; and humans, whose mouths contain a virulent bacterium. Insects also travel across continents, surprising unaware victims — and physicians: for example, the red fire ant, a native of South America, and the hobo spider, a native of Europe, both of which have venomous bites, have spread to large areas of the U.S. As Nagami points out, 'despite our technological sophistication and urban sprawl, we can never isolate ourselves from the natural world.' She adds to this absorbing read an extensive glossary and bibliography. Agent, B.J. Robbins. (July)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information, Inc.)
Startling true cases of bite attacks, resulting infections, and ensuing treatments-from ticks, ants, and flying bats to elephant seals, Komodo dragons, rhesus macaques, and the deadliest of all, human
STARTLING TRUE CASES OF BITE ATTACKS, RESULTING INFECTIONS, AND ENSUING TREATMENTS---
From ticks, ants, and flying bats to elephant seals, Komodo dragons, rhesus macaques, and deadliest of all, humans.
We've all been bitten. And we all have stories.
The bite attacks that Pamela Nagami, M.D., has chosen to write about in Bitten take place in big cities, small towns, and remote villages around the world and throughout history, locales as familiar as New York or Hollywood, or exotic as Africa, the Middle East, or Indonesia. They include a six-year-old girl who descended into weeks of extreme lassitude from a tick bite; a diabetic in the West Indies who awoke to find a rat eating two of his toes; a California man who developed "flesh-eating strep" following a penile bite; and more.
With reports from medical journals, case histories, colleagues, and her own twenty-five-year career as a practicing physician and infectious diseases specialist, Pamela Nagami offers readers intrigued by infection, disease, and mesmerized by creatures in the wild a compulsively readable narrative that is entertaining, sometimes disturbing, and always engrossing.
About the Author
Pamela Nagami, M.D., is a practicing physician in internal medicine and infectious diseases and a clinical associate professor of medicine at The David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. She lives with her husband in Encino, California.
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