Surely one of the most terrifying sights to await a woman giving birth is a baby with anencephaly: a frightening birth defect in which parts of the brain and skull fail to form correctly. The result is a fetus or baby that has a normal-appearing body attached to a frog-like head. I can imagine that women giving birth to such a child back in the middle ages would have been burned at the stake or otherwise executed for this evidence of copulation with devils! Fortunately, we live in more enlightened times.. but, as you can see, these are still frightening times!
Dafabet sign up offer 0%. Anencephaly occurs surprisingly frequently - 1/1000 births. (Which is one reason why it always amazes me that pregnant women don't spend their days in constant anxiety of the monster that may come crawling out from between their legs.. but that's just me, I suppose.) To make matters worse, if a woman gives birth to a baby with anencephaly, their odds of having another one goes up to 1/50, and if they've had two 1/25. And if they've had three, why on earth are they still procreating????
Anencephaly occurs when the anterior neural tube fails to close properly very early in fetal development. The neural tube is a narrow channel that folds and closes between the 3rd and 4th weeks of pregnancy to form the brain and spinal cord of the embryo. Anencephaly occurs when the 'cephalic' or head end of the neural tube fails to close, resulting in the absence of a major portion of the brain, skull, and scalp. Infants with this disorder are born without a forebrain (the front part of the brain) and a cerebrum (the thinking and coordinating part of the brain). The remaining brain tissue is often exposed--not covered by bone or skin. A baby born with anencephaly is usually blind, deaf, unconscious, and unable to feel pain. Although some individuals with anencephaly may be born with a rudimentary brain stem, the lack of a functioning cerebrum permanently rules out the possibility of ever gaining consciousness. Reflex actions such as breathing and responses to sound or touch may occur. (In other words, these babies are as much 'alive' as Terry Schiavo!)
Although it is thought that a mother's diet and vitamin intake may play a role, scientists believe that many other factors are also involved. Recent studies have shown that the addition of folic acid (vitamin B9) to the diet of women of childbearing age may significantly reduce the incidence of neural tube defects.
Unsurprisingly, there is no cure or treatment for anencephaly. Most of the babies are stillborn, and the rest will die within a few hours or days after birth. Thank goodness, eh?
The information and photographs above were mercilessly swiped from the following fine websites:
In recent months, we're beginning to hear discussion on a subject that hasn't received much attention in the last twenty years: smallpox. This horrible infectious disease that once killed thousands was completely eliminated from the world population in 1978, after over a century of vigorous immunization programs. Its eradication was one of the greatest public health triumphs. However, the threat of smallpox being used as a biological weapon in terrorist attacks has rekindled discussion of the dreaded disorder, and resulted in vaccines in cold storage being prepared for use 'just in case'. Now seems like as good a time as any to reflect on exactly what we've been missing in the last few decades!
We do not know exactly what the affliction was that Paul called his “thorn in the flesh.” It probably was a physical malady. There is some evidence in Scripture that Paul had an eye problem. He spoke of the large letters he used in writing to the Galatians (Galatians 6:11). Leave Malady Malady is ready to depart. Once we have everyone on the Lady Vengeance, we should inform her. Summon Malady We should talk to the figurehead of the Lady Vengeance in order to summon Malady back on the ship. Malady On Deck Malady has concluded her own matters, and can be found aboard the Lady Vengeance. Dowry is one of the deep rooted social evils in India. It has become a barrier to lead a normal life for women. The system is the evil which has killed and crippled many helpless women; many women have committed suicide too. The dowry system is the oldest social malady of the Indian subcontinent. Between now and 2030, American households will pay on average $56,022 each for Medicare-$16,127 of that for a proposed prescription drug entitlement alone. That's why more young people should pay.
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Smallpox (variola) is a contagious, disfiguring and sometimes deadly disease caused by the variola virus. It's believed to have first appeared in northeastern Africa or the Indus Valley of south-central Asia nearly 12,000 years ago. Since then, few other illnesses have had such a profound effect on human health and history. There is evidence that a major smallpox epidemic occurred toward the end of the 18th Egyptian dynasty. Studies of the mummy of Pharaoh Ramses V (d. 1157 BC) indicate that he likely died of smallpox infection. From ancient Egypt, it appears that traders spread the disease to India. Smallpox was brought to the Americas with the arrival of Spanish colonists in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. Many historians argue that smallpox infection killed more Aztec and Inca people than the Spanish Conquistadors did. A smallpox epidemic in 1837-38 killed an estimated 20,000 Native Americans, and it is believed by many that an early attempt at biological warfare was made when smallpox-infected blankets were deliberately provided to Native Americans by British General Jeffrey Amherst during the French-Indian War (1754-1763).
Woman with Smallpox
with vaccinated infant
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The smallpox virus occurs in humans and in some circumstances in monkeys. Particles containing the virus are released into the air when an infected person coughs, sneezes or simply talks. They also may spread through direct contact such as kissing or through contaminated bed linen and clothing. Inhaling a single particle may be enough to cause infection. Because it's contagious, smallpox has the potential to spread rapidly. Unlike anthrax, which is not transmitted from person to person, a smallpox epidemic could conceivably start with a single infected individual. There's no known cure, but a vaccine can help protect against the disease. In fact, an aggressive vaccination program resulted in the complete eradication of the disease from the global population in the mid-1970's. (The last reported case of smallpox occurred on October 26, 1977 in Somalia.)
So, enough about the history of the disease, you want to know all the gory little details, don't you?
The first symptoms of smallpox usually appear 12 to14 days after you're infected, although the incubation period can range from 7 to 17 days. During this time, you look and feel healthy and can't infect others.
Following the incubation period a sudden onset of flu-like symptoms occurs. These symptoms include:
A few days later, the characteristic smallpox rash appears as flat, red spots (lesions). Within a day or two, these lesions become filled with fluid (vesicles) and then with pus (pustules). The lesions appear first on your face, hands and forearms and later on the trunk of your body. They're especially prominent on the palms of your hands and the soles of your feet. Lesions also develop in the mucous membranes of your nose and mouth. The way the lesions are distributed is a hallmark of smallpox and a primary way of diagnosing the disease.
When the pustules erupt, the skin doesn't break, but actually tears away from its underlying layers. The pain can be excruciating. Scabs begin to form 8 to 9 days later and eventually fall off, leaving deep, pitted scars. All lesions in a given area progress at the same rate through these stages. People who don't recover usually die during the second week of illness.
Of course, simply receiving a smallpox vaccination would not guarantee immunity to the disease, as the vaccination reactions could be most nasty indeed! Here are just a smattering of the reaction images on the CDC website:
Bet you young people are happy to have been born after 1972, eh? (Old people like me probably still have an indented smallpox vaccination scar on their arm - if not worse!) It's worth reflecting on that scar and imagining a time when that one little pockmark would have been one of hundreds scarring your entire body.. if you even survived.
The miracles of science, indeed!
The information above was mercilessly swiped from ACPOnline and UAB
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The absolutely hideous modern images were culled from the Centers For Disease Control
and the World Health Organization websites.
The vintage images were culled from the Otis Historical Archives at the National Museum of Health & Medicine.
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Special thanks to Barbara Turner for the suggestion and the CDC link!