W. David Colby IV MSc MD FRCPC

Rapid Sputum Tests for Tuberculosis (TB)

Rapid sputum tests are used to diagnose tuberculosis (TB) when other tests show that a person probably has TB. Rapid sputum tests are also called nucleic acid amplification tests (NAATs). One of the best ways to diagnose TB is through a sputum culture. A sputum culture is a test to find germs (such as TB bacteria) that…

Lyme Disease

Discusses Lyme disease, an infection spread by ticks. Includes info on deer ticks. Covers symptoms and Lyme disease tests. Covers treatment with antibiotics. Includes info on complications from not treating Lyme disease. Offers prevention tips.

E. Coli

E. coli is a type of bacteria that lives in the digestive tracts of humans and animals. There are many types of E. coli, and most of them are harmless. But some can cause a dangerous type of diarrhea. Others can cause a urinary tract infection.

Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS)

Severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) is a respiratory illness caused by a type of virus called a coronavirus. SARS produces symptoms similar to pneumonia and can be spread when someone with SARS coughs, sneezes, laughs, or speaks. The main symptoms are a fever, a dry cough, shortness of breath, or difficulty…

Symptoms of Lyme Disease

The first symptom of Lyme disease in most people is an expanding red skin rash (called erythema migrans or an EM rash). In about a third of people, the rash looks like a bull’s-eye, with a pale center area surrounded by a bright red rim. The rash is often accompanied by flu-like symptoms, including: Fatigue (the most…