Words to the Wise

Photo Courtesy of Scientific American Magazine
Photo Courtesy of Scientific American 

Burgeoning Viruses and Plagues are Spreading Thanks to a Callous Disregard for Fellow Humans, Frequent Flyers, Poor Sanitation, Lax Medical Industry Waste-Disposal and Over-Use of Antibiotics

“Don’t Touch the Walls” 

So goes the admonition about local clinics that have seen ebola patients within Sierra Leone on the African continent. The disease has been known to be extremely contagious for decades, yet some entities would have you believe that it is difficult to contract. (Not airborne? Bodily fluids do exist in the air as infinitesimal particles which are easily inhaled, and once the virus is deposited onto surfaces, it continues to live.) Concurrent with the denials of this hemorrhagic fever’s virulence, dire warnings are issued. Confused? Just read the linked article in Telegraph U.K. for a bit of enlightening reality: ARTICLE

Click Here to Read M-J’s Main Website, Elegant Survival


Consider Wearing Gloves in Public

The Merits of Wearing Gloves
by M-J de Mesterton, 2006

The Merits of Wearing Gloves, and the Scourge of Staphylococcus Aureus

Famous Las Vegas Artist, Mystic Painter M-J de Mesterton

Staphylia Oil on Canvas 16″ X 20″ by M-J de Mesterton, Copyright 2006

I first posted this little piece about wearing gloves in December, 2006:
 I had worn long kid gloves to an evening holiday party, and my husband wore elegant gloves as well. A young lady commented favourably on our style. I spoke briefly about the merits of wearing gloves, expressing the hope that it would again become routine. I mentioned the scourge of staphylococcus aureus, whereupon she held up her hand with its missing finger–lost to the superbug!
For years, I was regarded as an oddball simply for wearing driving gloves. I also wore gloves at the supermarket to ward-off transference of germs on carts, et cetera*. I’ve read somewhere recently that glove-wearing is back in style. I hope that’s true.
*I also wash every grocery item which enters our house.

I have been writing about this for six years, and no doubt some people have scoffed. Eyes glaze over when this subject is mentioned, and the speaker is written-off as a germophobe.
That attitude seems to have changed overnight. MRSA, or antibiotic-resistant Staphylococcus Aureus isn’t just a hospital-acquired disease anymore. Elegant Survival’s Face and Figure page alludes to the intrinsic unhealthiness of health-clubs and public gyms. The noise level of the “music” played can deafen you, and the transmission of germs and viruses on the surfaces there may sicken. However, I wanted to be a bit delicate and not graphic, so I determined to return to the topic with a well-crafted, diplomatic way of saying, “If you value your health, stay out of health-clubs!”

I belonged to three such clubs in the past, beginning with the old Henry Hudson Health Club on 57th Street in New York City. I was disgusted when, using the women’s sauna, I found the panties of other members hanging up to dry in there. Being of Scandinavian descent, this abuse rankled; I also knew that moisture in the sauna (“sow-nah” is the correct pronunciation) would defeat their idiotic purpose. I cleaned-off every piece of gym equipment before use, using rubbing alcohol. It has been thirteen years since I have darkened the door of one of those clubs, because the noise got louder and the germs deadlier. Now, my logic has borne out, with the major press agencies finally giving the flesh-eating disease MRSA, or antibiotic-resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (staphylia means “grapes” in Greek–the virus is shaped like a bunch of them), the attention it deserves. Human nature usually demands that someone die before a danger is recognised, but there have been more deaths from this than the AIDS virus, going unnoticed until now.

My husband and I, as I am fond of telling you, wear gloves everywhere we go, even in very hot weather. We keep hand-sanitizer in the car and in our bags. Consider the objects one must handle outside the home, in public–pens, products, door-handles–there’s an infinite variety of things which can bear germs and viruses. If you don’t like to wear gloves in public, at least use something to clean the shopping cart handle when you’re marketing. Some supermarkets offer them in a dispenser near the carts.
Thoughtfulness in life, and keen awareness of our surroundings and habits, can help us survive even the most rampant modern scourge.  After all, carelessness wrought by jaded arrogance has created just that: a deadly epidemic.
©M-J de Mesterton 2006
Posted by M-J de Mesterton, 2006

        Click Here to Read M-J’s Main Website, Elegant Survival

Ebola, the African Bleeding Disease, Now Found in Pigs

Long-Standing Advisement about the Ebola Virus, by the World Health Organisation (WHO)
Long-Standing Advisement about the Ebola Virus, by the World Health Organisation (WHO)

2009: A new form of Ebola virus has been detected in some Phillippine Islands pigs, raising concerns that it could mutate and put humans at-risk.

Ebola-Reston virus (REBOV) has only previously been transmitted by monkeys to humans, and through human-to-human contact. Pigs are likely to provide the point where Ebola-Reston could mutate into a virus that infects human beings through contact with them.

The discovery and related theories are featured in the journal, Science.

Researchers from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, stress that the virus at present appears to pose no risk to humans at this time.

Ebola-Reston virus has been detected in farm workers who tend the infected pigs, and they have as yet shown no signs of illness. Researchers said: “REBOV infection in domestic swine raises concern about the potential for emerging disease in humans and a wider range of livestock.

“There is concern that its passage through swine may allow REBOV to diverge and shift its potential for pathogenicity.”

REBOV is a filovirus, types of which usually target primates.

Deadly Bleeding

Foloviruses such as Ebola and Marburg are marked by haemorrhagic fevers, which cause extensive internal bleeding and can be fatal.

The latest filovirus study examined tissue samples taken from pigs from different parts of the Philippines which were experiencing severe respiratory infections.

Analysis showed that the animals were infected with widely varying strains of the virus, suggesting it may have circulated widely in pigs even before it was first discovered in monkeys exported to the US from the Philippines in 1989.

The researchers said it was possible that REBOV originally emerged in another, unknown host. Fruit-eating bats have been suggested.

Pigs are known to provide an ideal host in which viruses may mutate. Experts say that risk is heightened since pork products are a common feature of the worldwide food chain, and because pigs often come into close contact with people.

Researcher Dr. Michael McIntosh said: “We know that this family of viruses is associated with fatal illnesses in humans.”

“Even though there is no evidence at this time to suggest REBOV causes diseases in humans it does seem that it can infect humans, and be transmitted from swine to humans.

“The effect of such an infection on an immuno-compromised host – human or swine – is also an unknown factor of concern.”

The World Health Organization says that pork is safe to eat if prepared and cooked properly–washed and well-done until grey inside.