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[UK]....Um, I realize VERY unlikely...but possible Hansen's Disease [Immunocompromized Homeless Man]

ChemicallyEnhanced

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I'm not sure if it even still occurs in the UK (although there's some 200 cases a year in the U.S. and very occasionally on mainland Europe), but I bumped into a friend of my today, who I know from when we were both homeless together. He is still homeless, I am not.
While with with him, I met one of his current friends, who was obviously unwell. This guy (friend of my friend), I'll call him Chris. Chris is probably in his 60s, is diabetic, alcohol dependent, HIV Positive and has been homeless for 17 years. He has many pale and pink patches on his skin which he claims are numb (pain, touch, temperature), although he assumes from diabetes (as a diabetic, I disagree; diabetes doesn't account for the appearance of the patches, or that they are mostly on his torso, not extremities). He has a somewhat "flat" looking nose, which he says MAY be from on-and-off intranasal cocaine abuse.
He has notable general muscle weakness and needs assistance walking. Oh, he's having vision problems, too.

I know all this could be diabetes/drug use/general ill-health...

But it COULD be Hansen's Disease, right? Should I try and convince my friend to take him to A&E to get him checked out? Even if I'm probably wrong...it's a horrible way to die if I'm NOT wrong?
 

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Bluelighter
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Flat, bloated, blown out nose is from smashing the ale. Patchy and mottled skin is a scattergun of possibilities.

Given what you’ve said, be alcohol related. But give 111 a call, can’t hurt and costs fuck all, better safe than sorry.
 

chinup

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i can't diagnose him but please could you culture him? i'd love some genuine mycobacterum leprae sequences sourced from the wild in the UK.

this goes for anyone else with interesting microbial infections but particularly any listed by the CDC as potential bioterrorism agents.

you should push him to get checked out. sad thing is homeless people aren't taken that seriously, especially if presenting at hospital they're often assumed to just want a bed for the night. if you can advocate for him, then do.
 

ChemicallyEnhanced

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Flat, bloated, blown out nose is from smashing the ale. Patchy and mottled skin is a scattergun of possibilities.

Given what you’ve said, be alcohol related. But give 111 a call, can’t hurt and costs fuck all, better safe than sorry.

It's not that kinda flat nose :/

I'm seeing my friend again on Friday. Gonna ask about "Chris" and maybe just give him bus fair to the hospital (I don't drive).
 

ChemicallyEnhanced

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i can't diagnose him but please could you culture him? i'd love some genuine mycobacterum leprae sequences sourced from the wild in the UK.

this goes for anyone else with interesting microbial infections but particularly any listed by the CDC as potential bioterrorism agents.

you should push him to get checked out. sad thing is homeless people aren't taken that seriously, especially if presenting at hospital they're often assumed to just want a bed for the night. if you can advocate for him, then do.

You know Leprosy actually isn't very contagious or infectious, right? It's rare to contract it without EXTENSIVE contact with an infected person, and even then only 5% of people who DO contract the myobacterum leprae ACTUALLY develop Leprosy,

Good point. Maybe I'll offer to go to A&E with him (or tell a white lie and say I need to go there anyway for some reason, so it seems more casual and less like I'm doing him a favour) if he decides to go.

Even if I'm wrong, chances are they'll probably at least keep him overnight to do tests/bacterial cultures/whatever.


EDIT: I feel like swabbing a culture from him (ostensibly from nasal mucous?) and then (what? mailing it to you?) might get me arrested lol. Plus, I'm immunocompromized myself, so fuck getting that close to any bacterial cultures like that. I've been both homeless and extremely sick myself and I legit care and wanna help people if I can, but I'm no Mother Theresa [I'm MUCH more fuckable)
 

chinup

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Good point. Maybe I'll offer to go to A&E with him (or tell a white lie and say I need to go there anyway for some reason, so it seems more casual and less like I'm doing him a favour) if he decides to go.
yes if you can go with him that would help.

i love the idea of a casual trip to A&E. i actually had one of those by accident a few years back. i had been trying to get info on a skin rash and it escalated way out of hand. at every single point i was trying to say this was stupid. got out of work at least.

EDIT: I feel like swabbing a culture from him (ostensibly from nasal mucous?) and then (what? mailing it to you?) might get me arrested lol. Plus, I'm immunocompromized myself, so fuck getting that close to any bacterial cultures like that. I've been both homeless and extremely sick myself and I legit care and wanna help people if I can, but I'm no Mother Theresa [I'm MUCH more fuckable)
i was joking. i can't really say in public why i'm interested in acquiring pathogenic sequences but everyone who might have something good gets asked the same question. i wouldn't really want anyone to put themselves at risk.

and yes i know leprosy isn't very contagious. its not one of the most interesting tbh, but i'm not the person who decides which things i have to analyse. a good filovirus would be more interesting intellectually but also way worse for the person providing the sample.
 

ChemicallyEnhanced

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yes if you can go with him that would help.

i love the idea of a casual trip to A&E. i actually had one of those by accident a few years back. i had been trying to get info on a skin rash and it escalated way out of hand. at every single point i was trying to say this was stupid. got out of work at least.


i was joking. i can't really say in public why i'm interested in acquiring pathogenic sequences but everyone who might have something good gets asked the same question. i wouldn't really want anyone to put themselves at risk.

and yes i know leprosy isn't very contagious. its not one of the most interesting tbh, but i'm not the person who decides which things i have to analyse. a good filovirus would be more interesting intellectually but also way worse for the person providing the sample.

Do you work in the medical field and/or with infectious diseases (or similar)? I find things like that really interesting, too.

How about cultures of Necrotizing Fasciitis? I had a friend who ACTUALLY for real had that. I've posted about it on here a few times (the thread is definitely still on here somewhere). I ended up calling an ambulance on her (against her will). I'm actually pretty proud about it as I was right in that instance and while she lost a lot of the leg to debridement, she survived :)
 

chinup

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Do you work in the medical field and/or with infectious diseases (or similar)? I find things like that really interesting, too.
thankfully for the general public i am not a medic. i'm a bioinformatician. i've done a few different things, including pre clinical research in cancer which was depressing as fuck, but am currently working in a field called microbial metagenomics. you hear about it often in terms of characterising the gut microbiome. but my project is in threat detection, so based on environmental samples we work out if anything that could be a danger to the public is in there. hence the interest in pathogenic microbes.


How about cultures of Necrotizing Fasciitis? I had a friend who ACTUALLY for real had that. I've posted about it on here a few times (the thread is definitely still on here somewhere). I ended up calling an ambulance on her (against her will). I'm actually pretty proud about it as I was right in that instance and while she lost a lot of the leg to debridement, she survived :)
ouch!! i've heard that that is bad. i'd totally take those sequences!!

well done on getting her help. its so hard to push people to get help but in that case you definitely did the right thing.
 
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