Anemia Glossary of Terms

The following are health and medical definitions of terms that appear in the Anemia article.

Abnormal: Outside the expected norm, or uncharacteristic of a particular patient.

Absorb: 1. To take something in, as through the skin or the intestine.
2....

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Absorption: Uptake. For example, intestinal absorption is the uptake of food (or other sub...

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Acute: Of abrupt onset, in reference to a disease. Acute often also connotes an illness th...

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Alcoholism: Physical dependence on alcohol to the extent that stopping alcohol use would b...

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Anemia: The condition of having a lower-than-normal number of red blood cells or quantity ...

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Anemic: Relating to anemia, the condition of having less than the normal number of red blo...

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Angina: Chest pain due to an inadequate supply of oxygen to the heart muscle. The pain is ...

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Antifungal: A medication that limits or prevents the growth of yeasts and other fungal org...

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Antihistamines: Drugs that combat the histamine released during an allergic reaction by bl...

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Aplastic anemia: Anemia due to failure of the bone marrow to produce red and white blood c...

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Aspirin: Once the Bayer trademark for acetylsalicylic acid, now the common name for this a...

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Autoimmune: Pertaining to autoimmunity, a misdirected immune response that occurs when the...

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Bilirubin: A yellow-orange compound that is produced by the breakdown of hemoglobin from r...

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Biopsy: The removal of a sample of tissue for examination under a microscope to check for ...

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Blood count: The calculated number of white or red blood cells (WBCs or RBCs) in a cubic m...

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Blood pressure: The blood pressure is the pressure of the blood within the arteries. It is...

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Bone marrow: The soft blood-forming tissue that fills the cavities of bones and contains f...

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Bone marrow biopsy: The removal of a sample of bone marrow and a small amount of bone thro...

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Breathing: The process of respiration, during which air is inhaled into the lungs through ...

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Cancer: An abnormal growth of cells which tend to proliferate in an uncontrolled way and, ...

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CBC: A commonly used abbreviation in medicine that stands for complete blood count, a set...

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Cell: The basic structural and functional unit of any living thing. Each cell is a small c...

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Chemotherapy: 1. In the original sense, a chemical that binds to and specifically k...

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Chest: The area of the body located between the neck and the abdomen. The chest contains t...

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Chest pain: Pain in the chest that can be a result of many things, including angina, heart...

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Chronic: In medicine, lasting a long time. A chronic condition is one that lasts 3 months ...

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Chronic disease: A disease that persists for a long time. A chronic disease is one lasting...

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Colon: The long, coiled, tubelike organ that removes water from digested food. The remaini...

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Colon cancer: A malignant tumor arising from the inner wall of the large intestine (the co...

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Complete blood count: A set values of the cellular (formed elements) of blood. These meas...

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Diagnosis: 1 The nature of a disease; the identification of an illness. 2 A ...

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Dizziness: Painless head discomfort with many possible causes including disturbances of ...

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Dysfunction: Difficult function or abnormal function.

Electrophoresis: A method used in clinical and research laboratories for separating molecu...

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Elliptocytosis: A blood disorder characterized by elliptically shaped red blood cells with...

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End stage: The last phase in the course of a progressive disease. As in end-stage liver di...

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Enlarged spleen: Splenomegaly, or an enlargement of the spleen. This condition can occur w...

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ESRD: End-stage renal disease.

Family history: The family structure and relationships within the family, including inform...

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Fatigue: A condition characterized by a lessened capacity for work and reduced efficiency ...

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Femur: The single bone in the thigh, which is the largest bone in the human body. Also kno...

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Ferritin: The major protein concerned with iron storage. The blood ferritin level serves a...

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Folate: Folic acid, one of the B vitamins that is a key factor in the synthesis (the makin...

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Folic acid: One of the B vitamins that is a key factor in the synthesis (the making) of nu...

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Gastrointestinal: Adjective referring collectively to the stomach and small and large inte...

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Gastrointestinal tract: The stomach and intestines. Abbreviated GI tract.

Heart: The muscle that pumps blood received from veins into arteries throughout the body. ...

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Heart attack: The death of heart muscle due to the loss of blood supply. The loss of bloo...

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Heart disease: Any disorder that affects the heart. Sometimes the term "heart disease" is ...

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Heart rate: The number of heartbeats per unit of time, usually per minute. The heart rate ...

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Heart valves: There are four heart valves. All are one-way valves. Blood entering the ...

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Hematocrit: The proportion of the blood that consists of packed red blood cells. The hema...

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Hemoglobin: The oxygen-carrying pigment and predominant protein in the red blood cells. He...

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Hemoglobinuria: The presence of free hemoglobin in the urine, which may make the urine loo...

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Hemolysis: The destruction of red blood cells which leads to the release of hemoglobin fro...

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Hemolytic: Referring to hemolysis, the destruction of red blood cells which leads to the r...

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Hemolytic anemia: Anemia due to the destruction, rather than underproduction, of red blood...

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Hemorrhoids: Dilated (enlarged) veins in the walls of the anus and sometimes around the re...

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Hepatitis: Inflammation of the liver, irrespective of the cause. Hepatitis is caused by a ...

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Hepatomegaly: An abnormally enlarged liver. Hepatomegaly can be caused by heart failure, b...

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Hereditary spherocytosis: A genetic disorder of the red blood cell membrane clinically c...

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HIV: Acronym for the Human Immunodeficiency Virus, the cause of AIDS (acquired immunodefi...

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Hookworm: An intestinal parasite that usually causes diarrhea or cramps. Heavy infestation...

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Hormone: A chemical substance produced in the body that controls and regulates the activit...

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Ibuprofen: A nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) that is commonly used to treat pa...

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Indicate: In medicine, to make a treatment or procedure advisable because of a particular ...

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Infection: The invasion and multiplication of microorganisms such as bacteria, viruses, an...

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Injury: Harm or hurt. To harm, hurt, or wound. The word injure may be in physical or emot...

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Insecticide: A chemical used specifically to kill or control the growth of insects. Certa...

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Iron: An essential mineral. Iron is necessary for the transport of oxygen (via hemoglobin ...

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Iron deficiency anemia: A common form of nutritional disorder, iron deficiency results in...

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Jaundice: Yellow staining of the skin and sclerae (the whites of the eyes) by abnormally h...

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Kidney: One of a pair of organs located in the right and left side of the abdomen. The kid...

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Laboratory: A place for doing tests and research procedures, and for preparing chemicals a...

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Leukemia: Cancer of the blood cells. Strictly speaking, leukemia should refer only to canc...

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Liver: The largest solid organ in the body, situated in the upper part of the abdomen on t...

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Low blood pressure: Any blood pressure that is below the normal expected for an individua...

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Lungs: The lungs are a pair of breathing organs located with the chest which remove carbon...

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Lupus: A chronic inflammatory disease that is caused by autoimmunity. Patients with lupus ...

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Lymph: The almost colorless fluid that travels through the lymphatic system, carrying cell...

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Macrocytic: Literally, referring to any abnormally large cell; in practice, referring to a...

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Malaria: An infectious disease caused by protozoan parasites from the Plasmodium family th...

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Marrow: The bone marrow.

Medical history: 1. In clinical medicine, the patient's past and present which may ...

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Menstrual: Pertaining to menstruation (the menses), as in last menstrual period, menstrua...

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Metabolic: Relating to metabolism, the whole range of biochemical processes that occur wit...

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Microcytic: Literally, referring to any abnormally small cell; in practice, referring to a...

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Microscope: An optical instrument that augments the power of the eye to see small objects....

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Molecule: The smallest unit of a substance that can exist alone and retain the character o...

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Mononucleosis: Infection with the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV, human herpesvirus 4, HHV-4) in...

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Murmur: A sound due to vibrations from the flow of blood through the heart or great vessel...

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Nail: In medicine, there are two types of nails. One is just a plain old metal nail used t...

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Nucleus: 1) In cell biology, the structure that houses the chromosomes. 2) In neuroanato...

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Nutrition: 1: The process of taking in food and using it for growth, metabolism, and repai...

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Occult: Hidden. For example, occult blood in the stool is hidden from the eye but can be d...

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Onset: In medicine, the first appearance of the signs or symptoms of an illness as, for ex...

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Organ: A relatively independent part of the body that carries out one or more special func...

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Outpatient: A patient who is not hospitalized, but instead comes to a physician?s office, ...

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Oxygen: The odorless gas that is present in the air and necessary to maintain life. Oxygen...

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Pain: An unpleasant sensation that can range from mild, localized discomfort to agony. Pa...

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Palpitations: Unpleasant sensations of irregular and/or forceful beating of the heart. In ...

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Parasitic: Having to do with a parasite, as in a parasitic infection; or acting like a par...

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Pelvic: Having to do with the pelvis, the lower part of the abdomen, located between the h...

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Penicillin: The most famous of all antibiotics, named for the fungal mold Penicillium n...

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Peripheral: Situated away from the center, as opposed to centrally located.

Pernicious anemia: Low red blood cell count caused by inadequate vitamin B12. Abbreviated ...

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Plasma: The liquid part of the blood and lymphatic fluid, which makes up about half of the...

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Poisoning: Taking a substance that is injurious to health or can cause death. Poisoning i...

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Pregnancy: The state of carrying a developing embryo or fetus within the female body. Thi...

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Prognosis: The forecast of the probable outcome or course of a disease; the patient's chan...

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Protein: One of the three nutrients used as energy sources (calories) by the body. Protein...

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Qualitative: Having to do with quality. In contrast to quantitative (which pertains to qua...

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Quantitative: Having to do with quantity or with the amount.

RBC: Short for red blood cells, the cells that carry oxygen and carbon dioxide through the...

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Red blood cell: The blood cell that carries oxygen. Red cells contain hemoglobin and it is...

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Red blood cells: The blood cells that carry oxygen. Red cells contain hemoglobin and it is...

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Renal: Having to do with the kidney. For example, renal cancer is cancer of the kidneys.

Reproduction: The production of offspring. Reproduction need not be sexual; for example, y...

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Reticulocyte: A young red blood cell that usually remains in the bone marrow with only a f...

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Reticulocyte count: The number of reticulocytes (young red blood cells) circulating in blo...

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Rupture: A break or tear in any organ (such as the spleen) or soft tissue (such as the ach...

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Seizure: Uncontrolled electrical activity in the brain, which may produce a physical conv...

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Serum: The clear liquid that can be separated from clotted blood. Serum differs from plas...

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Sickle cell anemia: A genetic blood disease due to the presence of an abnormal form of hem...

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Spleen: An organ that is located in the upper-left part of the abdomen, not far from the s...

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Splenomegaly: Abnormal enlargement of the spleen. Splenomegaly is a sign of an underlying ...

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Stage: As regards cancer, the extent of a cancer, especially whether the disease has spre...

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Stomach: The digestive organ that is located in the upper abdomen, under the ribs. The upp...

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Stool: The solid matter that is discharged in a bowel movement.

Stool occult blood test: A test to see whether there is blood in the bowel movement. Also...

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Surgery: The branch of medicine that employs operations in the treatment of disease or inj...

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Symptom: Any subjective evidence of disease. In contrast, a sign is objective. Blood comin...

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Thalassemia: A group of genetic disorders that involve underproduction of hemoglobin, the ...

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Thalassemia major: The dire disease also known as beta thalassemia. The clinical picture o...

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Thalassemia minor: Also called thalassemia trait, thalassemia minor is the carrier state f...

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Thyroid: 1. The thyroid gland. Also, pertaining to the thyroid gland. 2. A p...

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Toxicity: The degree to which a substance (a toxin or poison) can harm humans or animals. ...

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Transferrin: A plasma protein that transports iron through the blood to the liver, spleen ...

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Transfusion: The transfer of blood or blood products from one person (the donor) into the ...

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Transplant: The grafting of a tissue from one place to another, just as in botany a bu...

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Ulcer: A lesion that is eroding away the skin or mucous membrane. Ulcers can have various ...

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Urine: Liquid waste produced by the kidneys. Urine is a clear, transparent fluid that norm...

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Uterine cancer: A malignant tumor of the uterus (womb), which occurs most often in women b...

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Viral: Of or pertaining to a virus. For example, if a person has a viral rash, the rash wa...

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Viral hepatitis: Liver inflammation caused by a virus. Specific hepatitis viruses have bee...

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Vitamin B12: A vitamin important for the normal formation of red blood cells and the healt...

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Vitamins: The word "vitamin" was coined in 1911 by the Warsaw-born biochemist Casimir Funk...

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