A final dash home

The explosive incident that had me laid up on a stretcher, with a scrubbed up attending doctor, driving back to the hostel..
20 January 2015

Interview with 

Dr Mark Baker, Dr Mark Cunningham, Newcastle University


The explosive incident that had Hannah laid up on a stretcher, with a scrubbed-up attending doctor, driving back to the hostel...

Picture a UK based travelling neurologist who, whilst preparing for patient duties, dons his best Del Monte-type beige suit and steps into a Kolkata taxi. Safety conscious, he duly straps himself in, only to discover the seatbelt is covered in black sooty grub.  So, he swaps his dirty suit for scrubs at the hospital.

On our way back to the hospital that evening, no taxis are available, but behold! A kind of Neuroscience Institute Kolkata ambulance man offers to drop us off. Dr. Mark Cunningham and Dr. Mark Baker from Newcastle University explain the explosive incidents that had me laid upon a stretcher with a scrubbed-up attending doctor on our way home.

Mark - We were effectively blue lighted through the rush hour of Kolkata by one of the ambulances from the Institute of Neuroscience due to an urgent medical emergency which I'm sure may clinically qualify the colleague - Dr. Baker can expand on a little bit more.

Mark B - I think there's an important bit of background here and that is, we are day 4 into our visit to Kolkata and every one of our party has come down with gastroenteritis.

The person holding the microphone at the moment has come down particularly badly. Just at the moment we hit a solid wall of traffic in Kolkata, which is a difficult place to progress with festive times, driver duly turned on the siren, sensing that the back of his ambulance might be imminently soiled and miraculously, we made a half-hour journey into a 5-minute dash for the toilet. Is there anything you want to add to that Dr. Cunningham?

Mark - No. I think that's an excellent synopsis of the recent medical emergency.

Mark B - Not so much English patient. That's English impatient.

Hannah - And the sirens really did help us get back very swiftly so that I could visit the toilet.

What exactly was going on in my gut and in my immune system to cause this rapid evacuation and a rapid transportation back to the hostel?

Mark - My guess is that we have all picked up some kind of norovirus. Your gastric mucosa has presumably been hijacked by the viral pathogen, not absorbing the water. It's got to come out somewhere.


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