acute radiation syndrome

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A condition that affected atomic bomb survivors and those close to nuclear reactor accidents. Severity varies with exposure. Above 500 cGy there is bone marrow depression, hemorrhagic gastroenteritis, and death within 2 weeks. Exposure to as much as 200 cGy causes gastrointestinal symptoms, increasing debility, leukopenia, thrombocytopenia, gastrointestinal hemorrhage, and death in most cases within a few weeks. Lower exposure levels have lower immediate mortality rates but cause chronic debility; alopecia; and malignant disease of the brain, hematopoietic tissues, or kidneys, with a latent period of 5 to 20 years or more.

Subjects: Public Health and Epidemiology.

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