Surprise Attack

Sometimes the immune system turns on its host

By Tony Dajer|Saturday, December 1, 2001
Mrs. Wong opened her mouth and moved her tongue to the side. Along its edge, I saw a huge ulcer, pearly bordered and angry as a brazier's mark. She spoke only Cantonese. "Veddy pain," she said, "veddy pain." Her daughter took over. "She saw the doctor yesterday. He gave her medicine here," she said, cradling her mother's right hand to show the vein where the IV had gone in. "But the bumps on her legs keep getting bigger." She lifted her mother's skirt. A half dozen red, raised lesions the size...

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