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Guest fizelly27
well, ebola is a gimme. aids gives you 10 years. some others give you years or months. ebola is 10 days. it doesnt get more deadly than that.

 

sepsis for short or more properly septicemia, which is an infection of the blood, is pretty much a deadly killer too. you can get sepsis from a lot of things including gangrene. in fact, sepsis is one of the leading causes of deaths in hospitals.

 

 

all these are transmitted through blood tho, right?

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all these are transmitted through blood tho, right?

 

most any infectious disease can transmitted through blood. its just that due to modern safety procedures, blood-to-blood tramission is significantly lower than once was. i cannot attest to the medical practices in africa, but i am pretty sure that even doctors in africa know to use latex gloves... the people, do not.

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Ebola sounds scary, but it burns out too fast.

 

yes and no. most outbreaks have been quarantined quickly. but what happens if you get a major urban outbreak? how does one contain an entire city like kinshasa? what happens if its the mayinga strain (assuming of course that mayinga was indeed infected by airborne transmission). the nature of urban life will lead to a black death solution - when infection rates are exponentially escalating, society will break down. healthcare professionals flee hospitals, public services dissolve, everyone battens down the hatches and waits it out. black death took a long time on the body. ebola? if people wait it out 14 days, they are effectively in the clear as long as they dispose of the bodies properly.

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Do you think that it is logical that a large scale ebola outbreak will happen sometime in the near future? What is the possibility of it becoming air born on a wide scale? Are you aware of any sort of plans that the United States would have to protect their social and economic infastructure assuming that an outbreak happens somewhere in Africa? ie closing borders in and out, stopping inports, etc. What is the possibility of something jumping from human to animal and infecting the food resources in Africa? More to come later, that is a lot to answer for now I shoudl think

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Do you think that it is logical that a large scale ebola outbreak will happen sometime in the near future? What is the possibility of it becoming air born on a wide scale? Are you aware of any sort of plans that the United States would have to protect their social and economic infastructure assuming that an outbreak happens somewhere in Africa? ie closing borders in and out, stopping inports, etc. What is the possibility of something jumping from human to animal and infecting the food resources in Africa? More to come later, that is a lot to answer for now I shoudl think

 

no. i dont think a largescale outbreak of ebola is likely... but then again, i also dont think the avian flu will make the jump to humans readily either. the problem with healthcare is that it is plagued by sensational journalism. more people die every year from sepsis than ten 9/11's. the public has a skewed sense of urgency on the least urgent healthcare problems.

 

i doubt ebola will become airborne any time soon.

 

i am not aware of any specific anti-ebola plans other than complete quarantine. if an outbreak of ebola happened in africa and the threat of it reaching our shores existed, seaports, airports, etc would all be shut for transatlantic africa-us travel. thats a virtual given. this also coincidentally highlights the need for the government to enforce the port state control treaty. (look that up)

 

i dont think human to animal is likely any more than the reverse. you have to realize that making a major jump like that takes a lot of uncertain factors happening all at the same time. its quite unlikely to poison food...

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I assume that you think that an airborne aids outbreak is not even close to potential? If it is the case that an ebola airbourne outbreak is more likely, are there people who write about that happening? Because I know that there are people who write about an AIDS outbreak happening and jumping airbourne. What is the reason that you dont think an Avian flu outbreak would happen? Is it that it wont make the jump from animals to humans? If that is the case, what prevents that from happening? I mean I know that we are different spieces but other than that? Is it the same reason that it wouldnt happen with ebola?

 

On the movie 28 days later, one of the characters, the father gets bitten by a bird and is infected. Is it possible that something could break out in an animal species and jump that way? Ie the Avian Flu.

 

Jamieq

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you have to realize that the human immune system is one of the most highly advanced (if not most advanced) immune system in the animal kingdom. a human being is literally unlikely to get so much as cancer without the body suffering some distress and suppression of immune activity because the human body has cells which go around looking for cancer to kill.

 

in order for a virus to replicate (see my previous post on this thread) the virus needs to be able to invade the right cells within the host. if not, it just floats around, get filtered out by the excretory system and depending on site of infection gets discharged from the body in one of the two forms of waste - urine or feces (almost always the latter).

 

the reason no one has been infected by avian flu to date in china, despite its prevalence, is that the virus needs to mutate and gain the capacity to invade human cells, a characteristic which it currently lacks.

 

this isnt to say that its impossible to acquire such ability. it could theoretically capture such a capability by invading a host with say rabies and a certain portion of rabies genes gets spliced in with the bird flu genes and now you can get bird flu... but something like that takes almost perfect conditions to happen - you need an organism currently able to transfer to humans and then have the poor replication of viral DNA happen to capture the right genes out of an entire DNA strand. the odds are so incredibly low.

 

lemme put it this way. i would say that the odds of you dying from eating too much thanksgiving turkey is better than the odds of you catching airborne ebola.

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every three RNA bases is called a codon. each codon is a signal for the cell to add a specific protein subunit (peptide). since you have four different bases, you can have up to 64 possible unique codons. there are only about 20 peptides so some peptides can be signaled by multiple codons. so if your code was AUG AAG UGG then you would be coding for methionine, lysine, and tryptophan. the protein would be made up of those three peptides in that order. the protein is then released to do whatever the protein was ade to do.

The codon codes for an amino acid, not a peptide. A peptide is a small chain of linked amino acids. In your example, methionine, lysine, and tryptophan are amino acids. Just a correction from a fellow biologist.

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If someone isn't sure whether they've been vaccinated, is it possible/easy to test for it?

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immunology isnt my specialty by any means... so i am just basing this off my rudimentary knowledge of the subject. i guess its something i should learn... maybe ill take the class for fun....

 

i would doubt there is a good test because the vaccination will reside in individual immune cells which are capable of mounting a response... probably in the form of a protein which may or may not have an external domain... the most obvious way to determine is if the person is exposed to and defeats the pathogen. obviously that is not a good solution to the question...

 

the general theory i would say is that when in doubt, get revaccinated. most vaccinations probably wont hurt you if you doubled up on them, as long as it wasnt doubled up too quickly. you want to allow the first vaccination to take effect and allow the body to build up its defense against the weakened pathogen. if you overload too early, then the weakened pathogens might overwhelm the immune response and cause the disease.

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http://health.yahoo.com/news/176735

 

 

Staph superbug may be infecting patients

June 25, 2007 07:27:23 PM PST

 

A dangerous, drug-resistant staph germ may be infecting as many as 5 percent of hospital and nursing home patients, according to a comprehensive study.

 

At least 30,000 U.S. hospital patients may have the superbug at any given time, according to a survey released Monday by the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology.

 

The estimate is about 10 times the rate that some health officials had previously estimated.

 

Some federal health officials said they had not seen the study and could not comment on its methodology or its prevalence. But they welcomed added attention to the problem.

 

"This is a welcome piece of information that emphasizes that this is a huge problem in health care facilities, and more needs to done to prevent it," said Dr. John Jernigan, an epidemiologist with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

 

At issue is a superbug known as Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, which cannot be tamed by certain common antibiotics. It is associated with sometimes-horrific skin infections, but it also causes blood infections, pneumonia and other illnesses.

 

The potentially fatal germ, which is spread by touch, typically thrives in health care settings where people have open wounds. But in recent years, "community-associated" outbreaks have occurred among prisoners, children and athletes, with the germ spreading through skin contact or shared items such as towels.

 

Past studies have looked at how common the superbug is in specific patient groups, such as emergency-room patients with skin infections in 11 U.S. cities, dialysis patients or those admitted to intensive care units in a sample of a few hundred teaching hospitals.

 

It's difficult to compare prevalence estimates from the different studies, experts said, but the new study suggests the superbug is eight to 11 times more common than some other studies have concluded.

 

The new study was different in that it sampled a larger and more diverse set of health care facilities. It also was more recent than other studies, and it counted cases in which the bacterium was merely present in a patient and not necessarily causing disease.

 

The infection control professionals' association sent surveys to its more than 11,000 members and asked them to pick one day from Oct. 1 to Nov. 10, 2006, to count cases of the infection. They were to turn in the number of all the patients in their health care facilities who were identified through test results as infected or colonized with the superbug.

 

The final results represented 1,237 hospitals and nursing homes or roughly 21 percent of U.S. inpatient health care facilities, association officials said.

 

The researchers concluded that at least 46 out of every 1,000 patients had the bug.

 

There was a breakdown: About 34 per 1,000 were infected with the superbug, meaning they had skin or blood infections or some other clinical symptom. And 12 per 1,000 were "colonized," meaning they had the bug but no illness.

 

Most of the patients were identified within 48 hours of hospital admission, which means, the researchers believe, that they didn't have time to become infected to the degree that a test would show it. For that reason, the researchers concluded that about 75 percent of patients walked into the hospitals and nursing homes already carrying the bug.

 

"They acquired it in a previous stay in health care facility, or out in the community," said Dr. William Jarvis, a consulting epidemiologist and former CDC officials who led the study.

 

The infection can be treated with other antibiotics. Health care workers can prevent spread of the bug through hand-washing and equipment decontamination, and by wearing gloves and gowns and by separating infected people from other patients.

 

The study is being presented this week at the association's annual meeting in San Jose, Calif., but has not been submitted for publication in a peer-reviewed medical journal.

 

___

 

On the Net:

 

Association for Professionals in Infection Control & Epidemiology: http://www.apic.org

 

The CDC's Web page on MRSA: http://tinyurl.com/ysc87z

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What university do you teach at?

 

Temple University...

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I read a book several years ago called "The Coming Plague" written by a health journalist. I came away from it far more worried about multi-drug resistant TB than about Ebola or AIDS. (I don't run around in fear of disease, and I take sensible precautions)

 

Is the endemic nature of TB in the IV drug user population a recipe for disaster, as the sufferers tend to not follow instructions with respect to antibiotics?

 

And a second question:

 

Is anti-bacterial soap helping more than it hurts in regards to fighting bacterial infections?

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i think drug resistant anything is inherently dangerous... but we need to be careful about how we define 'risk'. risk is the net product of the values 'exposure' and 'severity'. if your exposure term is infinitely small, then severity just doesnt matter very much. and in that sense, if your exposure limits are very small, then its not something to worry about terribly much. the reality of the situation is that more people die from being obese every single year than all the worst projections of an epidemic from a drug resistant strain of ANY bacteria.

 

i do not think people should be using so much anti-bacterial soap. for most applications, a good hand scrubbing under running water with a reasonable flow rate is sufficient. i remember reading a study once where antibacterial soap eliminated 99.99% of bacteria (leaving only about a million potentially disease causing bacteria on your hands)... and a good old fashioned scrubbing getting rid of something like 99.9% of bacteria...

 

does it make sense for doctors to use antibacterial soap? of course. people in high-risk occupations should always use every available measure... but for us regular schmoes... unless you are wiping your bottom with your bare hands... you'll be fine under most situations just washing them thoroughly.

 

of course that assumes that the average american realizes that scrubbing your hands is not something that can be done in about three to five seconds (which is the domestic average)...

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in order for a virus to replicate (see my previous post on this thread) the virus needs to be able to invade the right cells within the host. if not, it just floats around, get filtered out by the excretory system and depending on site of infection gets discharged from the body in one of the two forms of waste - urine or feces (almost always the latter).

 

this brings me to my question:

 

what do you think about sanitation systems as an aff? what is the true risk of disease spreading because of uncontrolled urine or feces (other than cholora or something)?

 

and once you have that answered- what sorts of plans do you think would best deal iwth this?

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i do not think people should be using so much anti-bacterial soap. for most applications, a good hand scrubbing under running water with a reasonable flow rate is sufficient. i remember reading a study once where antibacterial soap eliminated 99.99% of bacteria (leaving only about a million potentially disease causing bacteria on your hands)... and a good old fashioned scrubbing getting rid of something like 99.9% of bacteria...

 

...

 

of course that assumes that the average american realizes that scrubbing your hands is not something that can be done in about three to five seconds (which is the domestic average)...

I guess my concern is more for the dangers of resistance. If I scrub my hands with antibacterial soap, the .01% of bacteria that survive will have a much higher likelihood to survive when a surgeon scrubs his hands using the same anti-bacterial agent. My concern is that we are giving an evolutionary edge to the most dangerous bacteria by killing off the weak ones. This is only exacerbated by the half-assed job most of us do when we wash our hands. (and that is not an American, but a human phenomenon)

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this brings me to my question:

 

what do you think about sanitation systems as an aff? what is the true risk of disease spreading because of uncontrolled urine or feces (other than cholora or something)?

 

and once you have that answered- what sorts of plans do you think would best deal iwth this?

 

i think sanitation systems is a solid aff. the upside is huge as it can control a number of disease vectors (e.g. draingage systems decrease pools of standing water for anopheles mosquitos which transmit malaria) in addition to the more direct concern about contamination of drinking water etc. and another issue rarely talked about is about what happens when say a typhoon or heavy flooding ravages a town with poor sanitation? the fecal and waste matter contaminates an even larger water supply increasing the chances of transmitting diseases. if you need a more obvious parallel for the premise 'dont defecate where you eat' you can look to nature and see that almost all animals refrain from contaminating their drinking water supplies by defecating downstream and then wading upstream for a drink.

 

with careful research, you will find dozens if not hundreds of case studies specifically citing sanitation as a key reason why disease and mortality figures have dropped considerably.

 

furthermore, i think you should try and look at sanitation within a broader scope of urban planning which will give you a more comprehensive view, greater solvency, and you might even be able to subscribe to specific 'plans' (like 'the Marshall Plan', etc - note marshall is in reference to history, not an actual plan for sanitation). this will give you a preferential edge in argumentation without exposing you to a greater number of arguments.

 

i would predict that the standard gamut of neg responses would stay the same between a narrow sanitation aff and a more broad urban planning aff. i think you should develop both if you are interested in that angle.

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I guess my concern is more for the dangers of resistance. If I scrub my hands with antibacterial soap, the .01% of bacteria that survive will have a much higher likelihood to survive when a surgeon scrubs his hands using the same anti-bacterial agent. My concern is that we are giving an evolutionary edge to the most dangerous bacteria by killing off the weak ones. This is only exacerbated by the half-assed job most of us do when we wash our hands. (and that is not an American, but a human phenomenon)

 

as a whole, at an aggregate level, your idea is plausible... but realistically, its not entirely accurate. as i mentioned in a previous post, risk is the product of exposure and severity. in this situation, risk of a super-antibacterialsoap-resistant bacteria on a doctor's hands is the risk of transfer from you to the doctor times the severity of having a soap-resistant bacteria.

 

the end result is technically meaningless because soap-resistant germs are not the same as drug-resistant germs. if you get infected, drugs exist to treat them. the real problem is drug resistant germs in hospitals being coughed, sneezed, and otherwise transferred to the doctors hands.

 

now, risk is defined as exposure times severity (in short form), but what is the risk of a doctor's exposure to your soap-resistant strains of bacteria? very little. so the risk of your soap-resistant strains affecting anyone other than yourself and your immediate family/friends etc is very little. the idea that the 'seven degrees of freedom' theory will evolutionarily link you to all other people in terms of bacterial transmission is a little far fetched. general mutations, the number of strains, natural barriers and dozens of other factors need to be taken into account.

 

besides, some techniques like bleach and UV are guaranteed to kill essentially 100% of germs (though they never claim to do so out of fear of lawsuits).

 

that being said, i think that caution is still a favored policy. a solid handscrubbing with ordinary soap is preferable to antibacterial soap on the precautionary principle because the risk is negligible if any on the downside with a certain upside.

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If you're willing to go hippie, there are plenty of cures for aids, cancer, everything. I'm sure a few of them will be crazy theorists, but there are quite a few people who have found amazing results in studies. Just search for some alternative medicine places.

 

If you want to be more commercial, I seem to remember something a year or two ago about China being in testing of a drug that was able to cure aids in monkeys. Probably not that pertinent to this topic, though, unless you wanna be really extra t.

 

And how long is good enough to wash hands? Food handlers wash for 20 seconds (heh), doctors wash for like a minute... What's a good amount of time to balance horrible handwashing laziness with cleanliness?

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its not the time it takes, its the technique. if you actually scrub your hands.. it takes a lil bit. not an eternity... probably just about 30 seconds or so... maybe a minute... i never timed it.

 

 

but as a funny side note... just the other day i read somewhere that absinthe (the liqour illegal in the US) MAY retard the growth/kills falciparum, the biologic responsible for causing malaria...

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If someone isn't sure whether they've been vaccinated, is it possible/easy to test for it?

 

actually, there is a fairly simple way to test if someone is producing the antibodies to specific diseases. Its called an ELISA, which stands for Enzyme-linked Immunosorbent Assays. the basic process is coat the inside of a test vessel with the antigen, and introduce the blood serum from the person in question in teh presense of a specific enzyme. if that person has been vaccinated, there will be antibodies to the disease in their serum, and they will bind to the antigen in teh test vessel. you then take the test vessel and compare it to a blank of the blood serum in a piece of equipment called a spectrophotometer, if the antibody is present, the amount of light absorbed will be different between the two. its one of the ways that labs test for HIV, and i am using it for my research with the tuberculosis vaccine.

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i do not believe all vaccinations result in an active production of antibodies. which is why that technique does not always work.

 

oh, and i believe the term was easy. that technique might be easy in the laboratory... but i assumed that the question was in relation to the year's resolution and doing that test in the field in rural tropical jungles of africa is not easy.

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its not the time it takes, its the technique. if you actually scrub your hands.. it takes a lil bit. not an eternity... probably just about 30 seconds or so... maybe a minute... i never timed it.

 

 

but as a funny side note... just the other day i read somewhere that absinthe (the liqour illegal in the US) MAY retard the growth/kills falciparum, the biologic responsible for causing malaria...

It also happens, however, that it may stunt the growth/kill kidneys and livers.

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