Dogged pursuit

January 1, 2004

Washington, D.C. - The rash was like nothing John Melski, M.D., had ever seen before and he had reason to be alarmed. Bitten by a prairie dog, his 3-year-old patient had been hospitalized with a fever that raged for days despite intravenous antibiotics. Meanwhile, her parents became sick as well. It took Dr. Melski nine days of high-tech sleuthing to find out he was the first dermatologist in the Western Hemisphere to diagnose monkeypox in humans.