*This post was formerly the Saturday Lecture of 10/18/14*
*–You can assign whatever political motives to the Fedgov’s and Obama’s actions to the above scenario. The fact is, Ebola is a shiny object waved in our faces to distract us from the real problem in communicable disease, the politicization of illness.*
Good Morninng All! Welcome back to The Blogmocracy General Hospital and Distillery. Today We are going to have a lecture on Ebola. Enterovirus 68, and some definitions and science. This is going to be a long lecture with lots of ranging topics. It is testable material.
The infectious disease guys want us to wash our hands with soap and water whenever possible. Only use that nasty anti-biotic gel when there is no soap and water around. The bacteria look at antibiotic hand gel the same way that Nietzsche looked at the human condition, “that which does not kill us makes us stronger”. The gel kills most of the nasties; all are still left on your hands. Some live and they multiply, your hand sanitizer doesn’t work any more against that generation and their kids….and so on.
Soap and water mechanically gets all of them off of you.
Virus versus Bacteria
What is a virus? Let’s start by saying a virus and a bacteria are very very different. Bacteria are living cells that replicate on their own. Virii are collection of RNA or DNA that is wrapped in a simple protective coating. Virii bind to host cells and hijack that cell’s internal mechanisms to replicate the genetic material that is carried inside the virus. Whether or not virii are ‘alive’ is a matter of definition.Do they work against entropy? Well, no. They cannot replicate without host cells. Most virus can be eliminated with the help of a Vaccination. A Vaccination shows the body’s own defenses how to eliminate the virus.
Bacteria are very different. Bacteria are living cells. They require a medium and energy source to grow in, just like we do. Bacteria can be killed for the most part with antibiotics. Antibiotics are useless against virii. Antibiotics either disrupt the internal replication of the bacteria or destroys the cell wall.
Please see this list of Infectious Disease, many are caused by Bacteria and Virii, do note, when a disease agent is a virii, it is in the name of the agent: Hepatitis C Virus. When the disease is caused by a Bacteria, the bacteria is named in convention: Mycobacterium tuberculosis.
As a general rule, virii are very very fragile outside the body as their structure is not conducive to living outside a host for long. Bacteria, on the other hand, are very hearty and can live for a very long time outside of a body. Anyone who is familiar with C-Diff can attest to that. Let’s also keep in mind that more people get the common cold (Enterovirus) that get Ebola (virus).
Ok, that should have taken you about 4 hours to get through.
Human response to infection:
Besides the obvious responses and the detail in the vaccination video above; this is testable and cumulative knowledge. So, do keep up. The main physiological response to a large infection is a fever. In healthy adult men and women, the range of normal, healthy temperatures for oral temperature is 33.2–38.2 °C (91.8–100.8 °F). A Fever….a response to an infection lies above that range.
I love Pathophysiology, so here is a dose for yinz:
The Pathophysiology of a Fever:
Temperature is ultimately regulated in the hypothalamus. A trigger of the fever, called a pyrogen, causes a release of prostaglandin E2 (PGE2). PGE2 then in turn acts on the hypothalamus, which generates a systemic response back to the rest of the body, causing heat-creating effects to match a new temperature level.
In many respects, the hypothalamus works like a thermostat. When the set point is raised, the body increases its temperature through both active generation of heat and retaining heat. Vasoconstriction both reduces heat loss through the skin and causes the person to feel cold. If these measures are insufficient to make the blood temperature in the brain match the new setting in the hypothalamus, then shivering begins in order to use muscle movements to produce more heat. When the fever stops, and the hypothalamic setting is set lower; the reverse of these processes (vasodilation, end of shivering and nonshivering heat production) and sweating are used to cool the body to the new, lower setting.
This contrasts with hyperthermia, in which the normal setting remains, and the body overheats through undesirable retention of excess heat or over-production of heat. Hyperthermia is usually the result of an excessively hot environment (heat stroke) or an adverse reaction to drugs. Fever can be differentiated from hyperthermia by the circumstances surrounding it and its response to anti-pyretic medications
Ibuprofen, Acetaminophen, and Aspirin lower fevers because they disrupt the prostaglandins.
Why this response to infection? Fever does a few things. First it aids in the healing process by increasing activity of the cells that make up the immune system, it degrades the Endotoxin effects, and it can denature the proteins in some infectious agents. Denature the proteins and you kill the invader. However, you risk denaturing your cellular structure as well. Brain damage lurks around 107F.
Lets Get Topical:
In America, as opposed to Africa, we don’t live in our own waste. We have proper health care. We understand science. That is why the Ebola breakout here will fizzle out and be a memory shortly. If we were like Africa, we would have hundreds, maybe thousands of cases already. Even with the incompetence of Unit Directors in hospitals and the CDC, the staff at the hospitals managed to suppress this infection. Ebola must be in body fluids to transfer from body to body. It evolved that way. the coughing up of blood, projectile vomiting, projectile diarrhea and bleeding from all orifices is part of the evolution of the disease. the Virii that forced these actions survived, hence the hemorrhagic fevers. That is also why we do catch colds instead of Ebola. We get virus on our hands, touch a doorknob, someone else touches a doorknob…and it’s the common cold! There are more EV’s that cause common cold than there are hemorrhagic fevers for a reason. The hemorrhagic virus lives like a ROCK STAR! The EV’s live like middle management and bureaucrats.
Because we don’t live in our own filth, et cetera…the shiny object that everyone loves to talk about, Ebola, will fade. In the background is a rampant epidemic of a different type, Enterovirus 68. Enterovirii are highly contagious, the common cold is an EV. EV lasts longer outside of the host and are focused on respiratory excretions (as well as fecal-oral route) as a means for transmission. Someone with a cold (EV) isn’t much of a perceived vector when compared to the Ebola vector who is having projectile bloody vomit, explosive diarrhea, and is bleeding from every orifice. Who do you notice more, the middle manager or the ROCK STAR! ?
Enterovirus affect millions of people worldwide each year, and are often found in the respiratory secretions (e.g., saliva, sputum, or nasal mucus) and stool of an infected person. Historically, poliomyelitis was the most significant disease caused by an enterovirus, poliovirus. There are 64 non-polio enteroviruses that can cause disease in humans: 23 Coxsackie A viruses, 6 Coxsackie B viruses, 28 echoviruses, and 5 other enteroviruses. Poliovirus, as well as coxsackie and echovirus are spread through the fecal-oral route. Infection can result in a wide variety of symptoms ranging from mild respiratory illness (common cold), hand, foot and mouth disease, acute hemorrhagic conjunctivitis, aseptic meningitis, myocarditis, severe neonatal sepsis-like disease, and acute flaccid paralysis.
We identified Enterovirus-68 in 1962. Once in a while it would pop up, maybe a few here and there. However. This virus, like several other EV’s are found in far more prevalent numbers in Central America. Younger people are more likely to carry the virus as they have not grown the resistance to it. The more I look into this, the more politics I see. Let’s get down to some science and some numbers. The study cited just now says that:
Our subjects had a median age of 3 years and a 1.2:1.0 male:female ratio. HRV was identified in 16% and HEV was identified in 3%. HRVs accounted for a higher frequency of isolates in those of younger age, in particular children < 1 years old. HRV-C accounted for 38% of all HRVs detected. Phylogenetic analysis revealed a high proportion of recombinant strains between HRV-A/HRV-C and between HEV-A/HEV-B. In addition, both EV-D68 and EV-A71 were identified.
In Latin America as in other regions, HRVs and HEVs account for a substantial proportion of respiratory viruses identified in young people with ILI, a finding that provides additional support for the development of pharmaceuticals and vaccines targeting these pathogens.
The age of those studied ranged from 1 month to 25 years, I’d like to introduce their graph here, note the HEV rates across coutry.
3% of those found to be ill with influenza type symptoms were found to have Enterovirus. Enterovirus-68 was identified. From their numbers 1 in 8 (12%) ill with an EV had EV-68. So, let’s take a thousand infected people from this set, this yields 3.6 people out of 1000 sick who are carrying EV-68. We can’t cut people into .6, so lets round down on purpose to 3 out of 1000 people who are sick are EV68.
There have been at least 50,000 children (low-ball on purpose), who have crossed from Central America to here in the past year. These are the ones who don’t have the adult immunity built up yet that we discussed above.
Now we have to make an assumption and carry it forward in real time. 50,000 kids (and this is a low estimate on purpose) head North. Lets say that 1% are sick with flu-like symptoms (fever, runny nose, body aches) at the start of their journey. This is also a low-ball estimate. Anyone who is around a bunch of kids knows that there are sniffles everywhere. So, of the 50,000 who got here, 2 stared out with Ev-68.
Just 2? So what. Well, that is at the start of the journey. And if its 3% sick its 4. If its 100,000 kids crossing the border….I low-balled this on purpose to prove a point. Lets take 2 kids with EV-68 and start them on their journey North. We all saw the conditions on the way up here. the farther North they get the closer packed they become until finally being placed in a holding area North of the border. Pause here.
2 EV-68 kids start a moths long journey and become placed into a cadre of other kids. The virus spreads from the beginning of the journey. Then more than 2 have the bug. Remember, EV-68 most of the time is just ‘the flu’ or a ‘cold’. A bunch of kids traveling North in far less than ideal conditions are going to be susceptible to the virus. The 2 become more. Large groups were congregated South of the border, crossed, and then became larger groups again North of the border. They did not move as cadre at the border or in the North. these are pools where some get in and some get out. Therefore, the EV infection can be spread on the journey north, reside south and north of the border and propagate until everyone leaves the area. As time moves forward in these places, the infection rate gets higher.
Disperse the disease.
The kids make it to the North. They are placed in holding areas. Did you notice that Fedgov was real quick to clear these people out of the holding areas as soon as possible? It was willing to take tons of heat and bad press over this. Why? You have to distribute them widely and rapidly to minimize large localized identifiable outbreaks. It does not take a genius to realize that packed in people living on top of each other will be disease vectors. We now have more than 2 EV-68’s at this point. If one of them gets into a tight packed group of a few hundred or a thousand we have rapidly multiplying disease vectors. We have an expanding and easily identified infection. Now, this isn’t limited to the kids. Anyone who comes in contact who does not have immunity is now a vector. The claim that the outbreaks of EV-68 also happened where there wasn’t ‘large numbers’ of these kids placed does not understand how infection works. It only takes one disease vector, immigrant or citizen, to infect many at any given time. These people who make such claims do not take time, which multiplies contact and increases disease, into consideration as potential for more infections. Place one sick kid into a classroom full of kids who have no resistance to EV-68 and its going to be bad.
How would you get rid of a tanker truck full of incredibly toxic liquid? I’d drive it around on the highways while it dripped maybe a milliliter or so every 10 seconds at highway speed until empty; Hopefully, no one notices.
You can assign whatever political motives to the Fedgov’s and Obama’s actions to the above scenario. The fact is, Ebola is a shiny object waved in our faces to distract us from the real problem in communicable disease, the politicization of illness.