Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Dr Scott's Surgery

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Dr Scott's Surgery

Article excerpt

This week's "surgery" comes to you from Newcastle General Hospital where I am on duty providing emergency cover.

Last time I was on duty there I saw seven-year-old Dan and promised him that I would write about his funny face.

Dan had impetigo. I can still remember the fear and horror that my grandmother showed when I got it at about the same age.

When Gran was young, her friends who got impetigo were banished from human company because it could easily spread, causing serious illness and permanent scarring.

Impetigo is an infection of the skin. It is almost always caused by the germ streptococcus.

This is a bacterium that can cause all sorts of problems: tonsillitis, rheumatic fever and St Vitus's dance, for example.

But this germ hates penicillin, which still kills it. Another bug, the germ staphylococcus, can sometimes cause impetigo.

This one laughs at penicillin and refuses to lie down and die. It needs a more powerful antibiotic. …

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