Known also as anthrax, splenic fever is a serious bacterial infection. It is not primarily a human disease but rather an infection of animals. Cattle, sheep, horses, mules, and some wild animals are highly susceptible. Humans (and swine) are generally resistant to anthrax. Anthrax can take different forms. With the lung form of the disease, people inhale the anthrax spores and, if untreated, are likely to die. An intestinal form is caused by eating meat contaminated with anthrax. But most human anthrax comes from skin contact with animal products. Cutaneous (skin) anthrax was once well known among people who handled infected animals, like farmers, woolsorters, tanners, brushmakers and carpetmakers in the days when the brushes and carpets were animal products. The hallmark of skin anthrax is a carbuncle, a cluster of boils, that ulcerates in an ugly way. Typically, this lesion has a hard black center surrounded by bright red inflammation. This accounts for its name, “anthrax”, the Greek word for “coal.” Anthrax is treatable with antibiotics.
- Splenic vein
A vein formed by the union of several small veins that return blood from the stomach, pancreas and spleen. The splenic vein is a major contributor to the portal vein which goes to the liver.
Abnormal enlargement of the spleen. Splenomegaly is a sign of an underlying condition, such as severe liver disease, leukemia, or mononucleosis. Patients with splenomegaly should avoid activities that risk trauma to the abdomen, including contact sports, because of risk of bleeding from the injured spleen.
- Split personality
Multiple personality disorder, a neurosis in which the personality becomes dissociated into two or more distinct parts each of which becomes dominant and controls behavior from time to time to the exclusion of the other parts. A modern name for this condition is dissociative identity disorder.
- Split-hand/split-foot malformation
A genetic malformation syndrome of the limbs with syndactyly, median clefts of the hands and feet, and aplasia (failure of development) and/or hypoplasia (underdevelopment) of the phalanges (the digits), the metacarpals (the bones leading up to the fingers), and the metatarsals (the bones leading up to the toes). The split-hand/split-foot malformation (SHFM) involves ectrodactyly (the […]
- Spock, Benjamin
(1903-1998) American pediatrician whose book on “Baby and Child Care” which first appeared in 1946 was one of the biggest best-sellers of all time. It sold some 50 million copies. Its revolutionary message to parents was that “you know more than you think you do.” Spock gently coached parents to trust their “own common sense. […]