Vital Signs: Hiding Harmfulness

A bad choice made at a young age brings about devastating consequences many years later.

By Claire Panosian Dunavan|Saturday, September 25, 2010
It’s funny how songs can trigger memories. For example, when Peggy Lee’s “Fever” recently played on my car radio, I thought of a long-ago patient whom I’ll call Jerry Rivers.Jerry had fever, all right—but it wasn’t the sizzle of passion. Ten years ago, when I first met him, the trumpeter who helped launch the “cool jazz” movement of the 1950s had been hitting 101 degrees Fahrenheit for weeks. His internist had already sent out routine blood, urine, and stool cultures. No answers there. Nor had ...

The full text of this article is available to Discover Magazine subscribers only.

Subscribe and get 10 issues packed with:
  • The latest news, theories and developments in the world of science
  • Compelling stories and breakthroughs in health, medicine and the mind
  • Environmental issues and their relevance to daily life
  • Cutting-edge technology and its impact on our future
Already a subscriber? Register now!
Registration is FREE and takes only a few seconds to complete. If you are already registered on, please log in.