The longest weekendBMJ 2004; 329 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.329.7462.400 (Published 12 August 2004) Cite this as: BMJ 2004;329:400
- Nigel E Drury, senior house officer
- department of cardiothoracic surgery, Royal Brompton and Harefield NHS Trust, Harefield Hospital, Middlesex
It was late February, and I was working at a busy seaport hospital that often accepts patients from docking ships. A man in his early 30s was one such arrival, admitted to the infectious diseases unit with suspected chickenpox. In basic English, he complained of a rash over his face, trunk, and thighs, with pain on swallowing preventing him from eating or drinking.
On examination, he was feverish with generalised lymphadenopathy and widespread crusting papulopustular lesions. He also had …