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Typhus Hits “Revolution”: Could It Hit Here?

A mask won't help here. Just avoid the lice.

Part 1 in the “Long-Term-Disaster Diseases” series.

by James Hubbard, MD, MPH

A doctor goes into this tent full of people who look deathly ill, some coughing. He comes out in about a minute and proclaims they all have typhus.

Good diagnostician. But is it realistic? Could you tell that quickly whether people have this disease? And how dangerous is it?

This scene is from the NBC television series Revolution, which is about how a bunch of people cope with life after the grid goes down—permanently. No electricity of any sort. It got me to thinking about typhus since an outbreak is a real possibility in a prolonged disaster situation. In fact, a couple of forms of it are not that uncommon in the United States right now. And in some other countries it’s much more widespread, especially Africa.

So, let’s start at the beginning. What is typhus?

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You Can’t Straighten Your Finger. Do You Know What’s Wrong?

Tendon Injury or Ligament Injury? Can You Tell?

by James Hubbard, MD, MPH

My mother used to love to tell the story about when I was an infant and I kept complaining that my heel was hurting. She looked and looked but couldn’t find anything wrong. Finally she figured out I was talking about my hip, not my heel.

It’s important to know your anatomy when you’re dealing with an injury. I’m guessing you know the difference between your hip and your heel, but what about a ligament versus a tendon?

If you understand what lies beneath the skin, not only will you have a better idea of what’s going on—and be able to communicate that to others—but you’ll also have a better idea of how to treat it. Also, if a computer or book—Living Ready Pocket Manual: First Aid :-)—is handy, you’ll be able to go right to the information needed.

Here are some definitions from my Living Ready book:

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I Never Email Requests for Personal Info. Buzzmyfx Is Cloning Sites

Please know that hundreds of sites, Coke, CNN, this one, have been cloned, duplicated, whatever you want to call it, with “buzzmyfx” written between the site name and the .com. Don’t click on these sites. I’m not sure what the crooks are up to (maybe hoping searches will pick them up?), but if you have received any dubious email from me, or anything where I ask for personal info (credit card, etc.), please don’t provide it, and let me know so I can pursue it further. Another thing they might be trolling for is signing up for my newsletter at their site, instead of mine, to get addresses. My newsletter provider, Aweber, says they’ve seen no evidence but, again, be careful the address at the top of your page you’re looking at has no extra letters in it, buzzmyfx, or otherwise.

WV Water Nightmare: Why Activated Charcoal May Not Work

WV Water Nightmare: Why Even Home Distilling Wouldn’t Work to Remove Chemicals From Drinking Water

Note: This post has a correction. Scroll to the bottom to view.

by James Hubbard, MD, MPH

Regarding the recent chemical spill preventing over 300,000 people in West Virginia from using their water, I wrote on Facebook about water purification, “unfortunately, I know of no improvisational method that removes chemicals.”

Some commenters suggested distilling could in fact do just that. Others wondered about activated charcoal.

Excellent suggestions, especially in a situation where there’s no expert alternative. What I should have written was, “I know of no method that reliably moves all chemicals.”

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H1N1: Your Flu Questions, Answered

H1N1: The Survival Doctor Answers Your Flu Questions

Bonus post for the week, published now due to timeliness.

by James Hubbard, MD, MPH

The flu is in full swing, and this year, H1N1 is back. The virus previously known as swine flu, which caused the 2009 pandemic, is causing most of the infections in 2014 too.

H1N1 is a particularly bad strain, and people are hearing all sorts of things about it—and have all sorts of questions. So I asked via Facebook and Twitter what you want to know. You responded with a lot of great questions. In this video, I answer many of the ones specifically about H1N1. For even more answers about the flu, scroll down. (If the answer to your question isn’t here, I apologize. I addressed as many as I could.)

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4 Ways to Sterilize Your Medical Instruments [Book Excerpt]

4 Ways to Sterilize Instruments (Excerpt from "Living Ready Pocket Manual: First Aid")

by James Hubbard, MD, MPH

For this month’s posts, I’ve chosen some excerpts from my new book, Living Ready Pocket Manual: First Aid, that I think will especially interest my regular blog readers. If you’ve already bought the book, I’d be interested to hear what you think of these sections.

First up: Here at the blog, I’ve gone into a good bit of detail about treating wounds, but have you ever wondered when you need to sterilize the instruments and dressings you use?

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Announcing: My First Blog Tour! (Or: Discovering Website Gems.)

Living Ready Pocket Manual: First Aid

by James Hubbard, MD, MPH

I’m so excited to announce the launch of the blog tour for my book Living Ready Pocket Manual: First Aid. Some top bloggers have graciously volunteered to review the book, interview me about it, or both. Please check them out. Besides the information on me, I think you’ll find a few new blog gems you may not be following. The tour dates and blogs are as follows:

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Top 10 Most Popular Posts of the Year


by James Hubbard, MD, MPH

Thanks so much for making The Survival Doctor so successful in 2013. We quintupled (five times) our unique visitors and sextupled (six times) our page visits—over 6 million. And all because of you. Here’s The Survival Doctor’s version of the top-100 countdown: our top 10 most visited posts in 2013.

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Merry Christmas, and Happy Prepping


by James Hubbard, MD, MPH

I’m taking the week off to spend with family. I hope you’re able to do the same.

Merry Christmas to all of you. And thank you for making it a wonderful year.

Here’s an Affordable, Last-Minute Gift or Stocking Stuffer

Book collage

by James Hubbard, MD, MPH

This year, I have all my Christmas shopping done, but often, I’m one of those people scrambling at the mall the week before Christmas. If that’s you this year, I have a solution!

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