Funtabulously Frivolous Friday Five 109

Just when you thought your brain could unwind on a Friday, you realise that it would rather be challenged with some good old fashioned medical trivia FFFF, introducing the Funtabulously Frivolous Friday Five 109

Question 1

A friend casually remarks that she has an afternoon appointment with Doctor Fish, and asks you if you’ve heard anything about them. You caution her that…?

Reveal the funtabulous answer

Doctor Fish

Otherwise known as Garra rufa, are used in ‘fish foot spas‘ (nibbling off dead skin)

Whilst they have not yet been reported to cause disease the fish have been found to carry a wide range of bacteria that could be pathogenic – including group B Streptococci, Aeromonas species, Vibrio species and Mycobacterium species [Reference]

Your friend thanks you and heads to a pedicure instead before you have time to tell her about Mycobacterium fortuitum

Question 2

The pest exterminator gives a wry smile as you explain why you are starting him on warfarin. “I’ve worked with that all my life!” he remarks, “One of the main reasons it’s effective is because rats can’t….”?

Reveal the funtabulous answer


Apparently it relates to an absent brainstem reflex.

Also helpful that warfarin is reportedly odourless/tasteless.

Question 3

You arrive home to find your flatmate in a state about “an alert” that the CDC had on their website. He’s only skim-read the article, but that’s OK because he’s seen a film that covers “the rules” – 1. cardio, 2. double tap, 3. beware of bathrooms, 4. wear seatbelts…. What was the topic of this 2011 article from the CDC and what film is your flatmate referring to?

Reveal the funtabulous answer


The CDC produced an article highlighting the importance of being prepared in an emergency, citing zombies as an example (complete with zombie awareness posters to download).

The rules mentioned are from the 2009 comedy-horror “Zombieland” [Reference]

Question 4

Your ballpoint pen has run out of ink, you have a terrible memory for numbers, your phone is dead and you have just met the perfect woman (or man). What dermatological condition would come in handy about now?

Reveal the funtabulous answer


Dermatographism would allow you to write their number on your arm, and give you 15-30 minutes to find a working pen.

Dermatographism is an uncommon condition also known as physical urticaria. Physical pressure causes the skin to become raised and inflamed in the shape of the stimulus.

Question 5

Released in 1999, who does this stamp celebrate?

Reveal the funtabulous answer


Edward Jenner’s development of the smallpox vaccine was commemorated in 1999 as part of The Patients Tale issue.

The image ‘on the cow’ is that of Edward Jenner, the father of vaccination, inoculating James Phipps, an eight-year-old boy with cowpox. [Reference]

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Funtabulously Frivolous Friday Five

Medical Registrar fascinated by the quirky history of medicine and those crazy microbes.

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