“More than 50 million people around the world died during the 1918-1919 flu pandemic. That’s why we have epidemiologists all over the world tracking whether new strains of flu emerge.” ~ Tom Frieden
A few shorts weeks ago on our other site Weekly Prompts, G.C. wrote a word-prompt article ATM Germs about how easy it was to pick up influenza germs from an ATM machine. He was quite certain that the machine was the cause of the mild flu he was suffering from.
I have no idea whether or not this was the source of his infection it could just have easily been a supermarket trolley, or some careless person’s cough or a sneeze into the air we breathe. The point is that science has proved that poor hygiene promoted the bacterial super-infection that killed most of the victims during the 1918 flu pandemic.
Imagine a pandemic today, with infected victims flying around the world at high-speed, coughing, sneezing and infecting others who are unfortunate enough to be breathing the same air, with some still ignorant of basic hygiene. A scenario that could happen all too easily and one the health organisations fear.
We were all at liberty to draw our own conclusions from G.C’s article and some did.
When reading some of the pingbacks to the word-prompt, I noticed one or two people had begun scoffing at the idea of catching flu from an ATM machine. Some blamed over cleanliness as a reason for flu! I can understand their skepticism, it’s easy to judge, especially given the adverse publicity on modern day high standards of cleanliness.
This week GC has a cold and yesterday on his own site The Main Aisle, he wrote another article about catching germs.
I would need to use all ten of my fingers if I were to count the amount of times GC has suffered from some ailment or another this year. It’s no joke, he’s not a hypochondriac it’s simply in the genes, and given his susceptibility, it’s hardly surprising he shows mild signs of paranoia towards germs.
Genes: Let’s take two of my daughters, each of them has a toddler, the children play together often and both attend a nursery a couple of days a week. One toddler catches every bug and virus, the other catches nothing. So why is this?
A study on British volunteers showed that some people are genetically predisposed to stave off the flu and other bugs, while others become ill time and time again.
A group of healthy people were inoculated with the flu virus and their progress monitored for five days. Nine of the group became ill and the rest showed no symptoms at all.
“Those who became sick developed an acute inflammation on certain genes 36 hours before the symptoms set in. This ‘genetic signature’ was most marked in those who were suffering the worst. Meanwhile, those who remained fine were found to have activated a totally different genetic signature. This discovery raises the possibility that we could find a way to detect flu early, and take preventative action before the worst effects develop. This is very important science, It has very big implications for many infectious diseases, not only flu. ‘It could help with flu pandemics and even allow us to detect lethal infections such as the ebola virus at a very early stage.” ~ Professor Peter Openshaw, of the Centre for Respiratory Infection at Imperial College.
(C) SueW-nansfarm.net 2018. Linked to Fandango’s One Word Prompt ‘Draw’ and the word-prompt “ATM Germs’ from our other site Weekly Prompts.