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Entries - Entry Category: Pathology - Starting with R


Rabies, a viral disease that attacks the body’s central nervous system, causes convulsions, hallucinations, and an inability to swallow liquid—hence its earlier name, hydrophobia, or “fear of water.” Until Frenchman Louis Pasteur’s 1885 creation of a vaccine that successfully treated rabies in humans, the bite from a rabid animal almost always resulted in a death excruciating to endure and horrifying to witness. Pasteur’s discovery was publicized in Arkansas, but it would be almost thirty years before the state had a treatment center using his methods, though it lasted only briefly. Two months after Pasteur’s breakthrough, four New Jersey children who had been bitten by a rabid dog traveled to France and were cured using the vaccine. News of these boys’ …


Rubella or “German measles” is a contagious disease caused by a virus of the genus rubivirus, which is identified as a member of either the family matonviridae or togaviridae. Present only in humans, the rubella virus is unrelated to the measles virus. The disease acquired the name German measles because it was first described by German physicians in the mid-eighteenth century. Typically a mild illness of childhood, rubella spreads from person to person through respiratory droplets, appearing following an incubation period of twelve to twenty-three days. Symptoms include a low-grade fever, enlarged lymph nodes, and a diffuse, fine, light-red rash. Recovery usually confers immunity. Rubella is most dangerous during pregnancy. Prenatal maternal rubella infection, particularly if it occurs during the …