Sunday, October 31, 2004

Looking for a Virus

The doctors in France are trying to figure out what is wrong with Yasser. What could it be? Some type of virus possibly?

What kind of virus messes up the immune system and leads to dementia and/or Parkinsons in its later stages? Yahoo has the whole story here.

CLAMART, France (Reuters) - Yasser Arafat underwent tests for viral infection and other ailments on Sunday after initial checks ruled out leukemia and any life-threatening illness, aides to the Palestinian leader said.
What could it be?
The latest tests have found that President Arafat does not suffer from any life-threatening illness and what he has is curable," senior Arafat aide Nabil Abu Rdainah told Reuters.

"Hopefully soon he will be back with his people," another Palestinian official, Mohammad Rachid, told reporters, adding that Arafat got out of bed on Sunday morning, joked with medics and read the Koran for the first time in 10 days.
Interestingly enough they know what it is. However they will not say until Wednesday. After the American election. Why the delay?
French doctors and authorities offered no comment, having insisted they would speak publicly once analyzes were complete, something that could take until as late as Wednesday. Medical sources said nothing could be ruled in or out until then.

Palestinians have delegated his powers to two deputies temporarily -- Mahmoud Abbas, his number two in the Palestine Liberation Organization (news - web sites), and Palestinian Prime Minister Ahmed Qurie.

One Arafat aide in France said doctors were now checking the possibility of viral infection or poisoning.

The aide, who declined to be identified, was pressed on what he meant by poisoning and said only that nothing was to be ruled out, including any harm that might have been caused by the use of wrong medicine.
Curiouser and curiouser.

Virus or poisoning?

Yet the doctors know what it is and they are treating it and it is not life threatening.

Now it could just be me but this does not add up.

1 comment:

Charlie Martin said...

M. Simon, it doesn't add up because some of it is lying and some of what you're saying is mistaken.

The lying part is where the French MDs are saying it's "not life threatening". Anything that leads to severe and lengthy dementia and debilitation in a 75 year old man is life threatening. It could be viral (which, it's worth remembering, is the medical Greek-root term for "damned if we know"), it could be any of a number of variations of leukemia (which is not just one disease, but a whole cluster), and it could be something like an ideopathic aplastic anemia, or a side effect of certain antibiotics.

The mistake is that no one I'm aware of has reported an immune-system failure (except to the extent that any viral or bacterial disease is in some sense an immune-system failure.) What has been reported is that Arafat is short of platelets, which are involved with clotting, rather than immune function.

Actually, the more I think about it, the more I think aplastic anemia makes sense.