QUOTE FOR WEEKEND:

“Following Hand Awareness and continuously keeping the hands clean you will be in virtual isolation regardless of the people around you. Direct contamination (inoculation) of your mucus membranes (eyes,
nose or mouth) is the most common way infectious disease enters your body. Let’s work together to minimize the fear factor of infectious disease pandemics or seasonal.  It would help in prevention of many infectious diseases that could help in the prevention with handwashing!”

Henry the Hand Foundation by Dr. Will Sawyer-Infection Disease Expert (https://henrythehand.com/news-events/national-handwashing-awareness-week/)

Part I National Handwashing Week

 

When & How to Wash Your Hands

Keeping hands clean through improved hand hygiene is one of the most important steps we can take to avoid getting sick and spreading germs to others. Many diseases and conditions are spread by not washing hands with soap and clean, running water. If clean, running water is not accessible, as is common in many parts of the world, use soap and available water. If soap and water are unavailable, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol to clean hands.

When should you wash your hands?

  • Before, during, and after preparing food
  • Before eating food
  • Before and after caring for someone who is sick
  • Before and after treating a cut or wound
  • After using the toilet
  • After changing diapers or cleaning up a child who has used the toilet
  • After blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing
  • After touching an animal, animal feed, or animal waste
  • After handling pet food or pet treats
  • After touching garbage

How should you wash your hands?

  • Wet your hands with clean, running water (warm or cold), turn off the tap, and apply soap.
  • Lather your hands by rubbing them together with the soap. Be sure to lather the backs of your hands, between your fingers, and under your nails.
  • Scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds. Need a timer? Hum the “Happy Birthday” song from beginning to end twice.
  • Rinse your hands well under clean, running water.
  • Dry your hands using a clean towel or air dry them.

What should you do if you don’t have soap and clean, running water?

Washing hands with soap and water is the best way to reduce the number of germs on them in most situations. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Alcohol-based hand sanitizers can quickly reduce the number of germs on hands in some situations, but sanitizers do not eliminate all types of germs and might not remove harmful chemicals.

Hand sanitizers are not as effective when hands are visibly dirty or greasy.

How do you use hand sanitizers?

  • Apply the product to the palm of one hand (read the label to learn the correct amount).
  • Rub your hands together.
  • Rub the product over all surfaces of your hands and fingers until your hands are dry.

 Almost everyone has dropped food on the floor and still wanted to eat it. Some people apply the “5-second rule” — that random saying about how food won’t become contaminated with bacteria if you pick it up off the floor in 5 seconds or less.

The 5-second rule has become such a part of our culture that scientists actually tested it. As you can probably guess, they found that the “rule” is mostly myth: Bacteria can attach to food even if you pick it up super fast. So, depending on which types of bacteria happen to climb on board, you could still get sick.

Here are two facts to consider whenever you feel tempted by the 5-second rule:

  1. A clean-looking floor isn’t necessarily clean. A shiny linoleum floor is probably cleaner than a 1970s-era carpet. But even clean, dry floors can harbor bacteria. Newly washed floors are only as clean as the tools used to wash them (picture eating food off the mop in the cafeteria if you need a visual). Even with a brand-new mop or sponge, stubborn germs can still remain on the floor after cleaning.
  2. Fast is betterbut it may not be fast enough. Although a piece of food does pick up more bacteria the longer it’s on the floor, bacteria can attach to it instantly. So any food that makes contact with the floor can get contaminated if conditions are right. And foods with wet surfaces, like an apple slice, pick up bacteria easily.

When in Doubt, Toss It Out

Some bacteria are not harmful. But others can torture you with miserable stuff like diarrhea. Even if there’s no visible dirt on your food, you can still get sick. You just can’t tell what kinds of bacteria may be lurking on the floor.

So what are you to do with the piece of watermelon that just slipped from your grip? The safest choice is to throw it out. Or let the dog have it. (And there’s another thing to consider — even the 5-second rule can’t get around the fact that your food may have landed right in a spot where Fido parked his butt.)

QUOTE FOR FRIDAY:

“When HIV is left untreated, it can wreak havoc on a person’s immune system. As this happens, the body is less able to fight off infections. AIDS stands for “Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome,” which means the immune system has been made less effective by HIV. When this happens, a person is considered to have an acquired immune deficiency or AIDS.

It’s important to note that you cannot have AIDS without being infected with HIV. But people can, and do, live long lives (on treatment) with HIV and never develop AIDS.
Once you have HIV, the virus stays in your body for life. There’s no cure for HIV, but medicines can help you stay healthy.”

AHF (https://hivcare.org/hiv-basics/?gclid=EAIaIQobChMItumtgbjZ-wIVunRvBB1fpwL2EAAYASAAEgIslfD_BwE)

Part II National Health Observation: AIDS/HIV Awareness!

 

Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) is a chronic, potentially life-threatening condition caused by the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). By damaging your immune system, HIV interferes with your body’s ability to fight infection and disease.

HIV is a sexually transmitted infection (STI). It can also be spread by contact with infected blood or from mother to child during pregnancy, childbirth or breast-feeding. Without medication, it may take years before HIV weakens your immune system to the point that you have AIDS.

There’s no cure for HIV/AIDS, but medications can dramatically slow the progression of the disease. These drugs have reduced AIDS deaths in many developed nations.

Symptoms

The symptoms of HIV and AIDS vary, depending on the phase of infection.

Primary infection (Acute HIV)

Some people infected by HIV develop a flu-like illness within two to four weeks after the virus enters the body. This illness, known as primary (acute) HIV infection, may last for a few weeks. Possible signs and symptoms include:

  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Muscle aches and joint pain
  • Rash
  • Sore throat and painful mouth sores
  • Swollen lymph glands, mainly on the neck
  • Diarrhea
  • Weight loss
  • Cough
  • Night sweats

These symptoms can be so mild that you might not even notice them. However, the amount of virus in your bloodstream (viral load) is quite high at this time. As a result, the infection spreads more easily during primary infection than during the next stage.

Clinical latent infection (Chronic HIV)

In this stage of infection, HIV is still present in the body and in white blood cells. However, many people may not have any symptoms or infections during this time.

This stage can last for many years if you’re not receiving antiretroviral therapy (ART). Some people develop more severe disease much sooner.

Symptomatic HIV infection

As the virus continues to multiply and destroy your immune cells — the cells in your body that help fight off germs — you may develop mild infections or chronic signs and symptoms such as:

  • Fever
  • Fatigue
  • Swollen lymph nodes — often one of the first signs of HIV infection
  • Diarrhea
  • Weight loss
  • Oral yeast infection (thrush)
  • Shingles (herpes zoster)
  • Pneumonia

Progression to AIDS

Thanks to better antiviral treatments, most people with HIV in the U.S. today don’t develop AIDS. Untreated, HIV typically turns into AIDS in about 8 to 10 years.

When AIDS occurs, your immune system has been severely damaged. You’ll be more likely to develop opportunistic infections or opportunistic cancers — diseases that wouldn’t usually cause illness in a person with a healthy immune system.

The signs and symptoms of some of these infections may include:

  • Sweats
  • Chills
  • Recurring fever
  • Chronic diarrhea
  • Swollen lymph glands
  • Persistent white spots or unusual lesions on your tongue or in your mouth
  • Persistent, unexplained fatigue
  • Weakness
  • Weight loss
  • Skin rashes or bumps

When to see a doctor

If you think you may have been infected with HIV or are at risk of contracting the virus, see a doctor as soon as possible.

QUOTE FOR THURSDAY:

“HIV continues to be a major global public health issue, having claimed 40.1 million [33.6–48.6 million] lives so far.  In n 2021, 650 000 [510 000–860 000] people died from HIV-related causes and 1.5 million [1.1–2.0 million] people acquired HIV.  There is no cure for HIV infection. However, with increasing access to effective HIV prevention, diagnosis, treatment and care, including for opportunistic infections, HIV infection has become a manageable chronic health condition, enabling people living with HIV to lead long and healthy lives.  There were an estimated 38.4 million [33.9–43.8 million] people living with HIV at the end of 2021, two thirds of whom (25.6 million) are in the WHO African Region.”

World Health Organization-WHO

Part I National Health Observation: AIDS/HIV Awareness!

                  HIV!     HIV

Where does HIV/AIDS come from for staters?

Well the Aids Institute states “Scientists identified a type of chimpanzee in West Africa as the source of HIV infection in humans. They believe that the chimpanzee version of the immunodeficiency virus (called simian immunodeficiency virus or SIV) most likely was transmitted to humans and mutated into HIV when humans hunted these chimpanzees for meat and came into contact with their infected blood. Over decades, the virus slowly spread across Africa and later into other parts of the world.

The earliest known case of infection with HIV-1 in a human was detected in a blood sample collected in 1959 from a man in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo. (How he became infected is not known.) Genetic analysis of this blood sample suggested that HIV-1 may have stemmed from a single virus in the late 1940s or early 1950s.

We know that the virus has existed in the United States since at least the mid- to late 1970s. From 1979–1981 rare types of pneumonia, cancer, and other illnesses were being reported by doctors in Los Angeles and New York among a number of male patients who had sex with other men. These were conditions not usually found in people with healthy immune systems.

In 1982 public health officials began to use the term “acquired immunodeficiency syndrome,” or AIDS, to describe the occurrences of opportunistic infections, Kaposi’s sarcoma (a kind of cancer), and Pneumocystis jirovecii pneumonia in previously healthy people. Formal tracking (surveillance) of AIDS cases began that year in the United States.

In 1983, scientists discovered the virus that causes AIDS. The virus was at first named HTLV-III/LAV (human T-cell lymphotropic virus-type III/lymphadenopathy-associated virus) by an international scientific committee. This name was later changed to HIV (human immunodeficiency virus).

For many years scientists theorized as to the origins of HIV and how it appeared in the human population, most believing that HIV originated in other primates. Then in 1999, an international team of researchers reported that they had discovered the origins of HIV-1, the predominant strain of HIV in the developed world. A subspecies of chimpanzees native to west equatorial Africa had been identified as the original source of the virus. The researchers believe that HIV-1 was introduced into the human population when hunters became exposed to infected blood.”

HIV is a lenti virus which is a subgroup of the retrovirus. For starters they affect the white blood cells (WBCs) in this sense:

We have types of WBC’s and one type is called CD4. That is the cell the HIV binds to when it gets in your blood stream. Another name for them is T-helper cells. CD4 cells are made in the spleen, lymph nodes, and thymus gland, which are part of the lymph or infection-fighting system. CD4 cells move throughout your body, helping to identify and destroy germs such as bacteria and viruses.  Without going into specific medical terminology there is replication of this virus in the DNA and RNA killing out the normal white blood cell type of CD4 and other things like macrophages which are reproduced into CD4 cells with the virus with the body not knowing or able to detect this error in DNA and RNA of the CD4 white blood cells which ending line allows the immunity to go down. Remember the HIV virus binds to the surface of the CD4 cells. The virus entering CD4 cells now allows them to become a part of CD4 replicated cells regarding their make up due to changes made in the DNA and RNA cause the virus has invaded the bloodstream. As CD4 cells multiply to fight infection, they also make more copies of HIV now. Continuing to replicate, leading to a gradual decline of CD4 cells in decreasing that individuals immunity to infection.

There are two types of HIV have been characterized: HIV-1 and HIV-2. HIV-1 is the virus that was initially discovered and termed both LAV and HTLV-III. It is more virulent, more infective and is the cause of the majority of HIV infections globally. The lower infectivity of HIV-2 compared to HIV-1 implies that fewer of those exposed to HIV-2 will be infected per exposure. Because of its relatively poor capacity for transmission, HIV-2 is largely confined to West Africa.

The CD4 count measures the number of CD4 cells in a sample of your blood drawn by a needle from a vein in your arm. Along with other tests, the CD4 count helps tell how strong your immune system is. By knowing this when the blood test is done the CD4 helps the following for the doctor

-it indicates the stage of your HIV disease

-it guides the treatment

– it predicts how your disease may progress.

**Keeping your CD4 count high can reduce complications of HIV disease and extend your life.**

HIV is transmitted via the exchange of body fluids—such as pre-ejaculate fluid, semen, vaginal fluid secretions, blood, or breast milk. Within these bodily fluids, HIV is present as both free virus particles and virus within infected immune cells.

Within a month or 2 of contracting HIV, about 40 to 90-percent of those afflicted suffer from flu-like symptoms including fever, fatigue, achy muscles, swollen lymph glands, sore throat, headache, skin rash, dry cough, nausea, rapid weight loss, night sweats, frequent yeast infections (for women), cold sores, and eventually, pneumonia. Luckily, many individuals who are diagnosed early can live a long, productive life with HIV thanks to a combination of highly active anti-retroviral drug therapy, which prevents to progression to AIDS.

So what is the answer to prevent this from happening by doing a few things:

-In safe sex from the front (through the vagina) or back (through the rectum-buttock); no matter what sex preference you are.

-When you use various sex partners get checked every 6 months to a year and have sex safely.

-The + HIV pt or now AIDS pt be compliant with the medications and RX the M.D. gives you if you choose to do so, unfortunately like many who chose to do unsafe sex in getting this or worse those getting it through blood with transfusions or needle sticks, or even sex partners who weren’t told their sex partner had it. There are the those who got this disease innocently with not doing unsafe sex but for that percentage it is much lower than those who caused this disease to go up higher in the USA and all over for being foolish. To all the people in the world let’s deal with this disease safely for yourselves and others around you. Let us all make a safer world for this is one small way which is greater than you may think.

QUOTE FOR WEDNESDAY:

“Anyone can get monkeypox. In Africa, most cases are among children under 15 years old. Outside of Africa, the disease appears to be more common in men who have sex with men, but there are numerous cases in people who don’t fall into that category.

Monkeypox is usually a self-limited disease with symptoms lasting from two weeks to four weeks. Most people with monkeypox get better on their own without treatment. Following diagnosis, your healthcare provider will monitor your condition and try to relieve your symptoms, prevent dehydration and give you antibiotics to treat secondary bacterial infections if they develop.

There’s currently not an approved antiviral treatment for monkeypox. Antiviral drugs may help, but they haven’t been studied as a treatment for monkeypox. Several investigational antivirals with activity against monkeypox are available, but only as part of a research study.”

Cleveland Clinic (https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/22371-monkeypox)

What is monkey pox?

Monkeypox was first discovered in 1958 when two outbreaks of a pox-like disease occurred in colonies of monkeys kept for research, hence the name ‘monkeypox.’ The first human case of monkeypox was recorded in 1970 in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) during a period of intensified effort to eliminate smallpox. Since then, monkeypox has been reported in people in several other central and western African countries: Cameroon, Central African Republic, Cote d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Gabon, Liberia, Nigeria, Republic of the Congo, and Sierra Leone. The majority of infections are in Democratic Republic of the Congo.

There are two distinct genetic clades of the monkeypox virus – the Central African (Congo Basin) clade and the West African clade. The Congo Basin clade has historically caused more severe disease and was thought to be more transmissible. The geographical division between the two clades has so far been in Cameroon – the only country where both virus clades have been found.

Monkeypox is a viral zoonosis (a virus transmitted to humans from animals) with symptoms very similar to those seen in the past in smallpox patients, although it is clinically less severe. Monkeypox virus is an enveloped double-stranded DNA virus that belongs to the Orthopoxvirus genus of the Poxviridae family.   With the eradication of smallpox in 1980 and subsequent cessation of smallpox vaccination, monkeypox has emerged as the most important orthopoxvirus for public health. Monkeypox primarily occurs in Central and West Africa, often in proximity to tropical rainforests and has been increasingly appearing in urban areas. Animal hosts include a range of rodents and non-human primates.

Various animal species have been identified as susceptible to monkeypox virus.. This includes rope squirrels, tree squirrels, Gambian pouched rats, dormice, non-human primates and other species. Uncertainty remains on the natural history of monkeypox virus and further studies are needed to identify the exact reservoir(s) and how virus circulation is maintained in nature.

Monkeypox cases in people have occurred outside of Africa linked to international travel or imported animals, including cases in the United States, as well as Israel, Singapore, and the United Kingdom.

The natural reservoir of monkeypox remains unknown. However, African rodents and non-human primates (like monkeys) may harbor the virus and infect people.

Symptoms of Monkey Pox:

People with monkeypox get a rash that may be located on or near the genitals (penis, testicles, labia, and vagina) or anus (butthole) and could be on other areas like the hands, feet, chest, face, or mouth.

  • The rash will go through several stages, including scabs, before healing.
  • The rash can initially look like pimples or blisters and may be painful or itchy.

Other symptoms of monkeypox can include:

  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Exhaustion
  • Muscle aches and backache
  • Headache
  • Respiratory symptoms (e.g. sore throat, nasal congestion, or cough)

Monkeypox symptoms usually start within 3 weeks of exposure to the virus. If someone has flu-like symptoms, they will usually develop a rash 1-4 days later.

A person with monkeypox can spread it to others from the time symptoms start until the rash has fully healed and a fresh layer of skin has formed. Some people have been found to have infection but no symptoms. To date, however, there is no evidence that monkeypox spreads from people with no symptoms. CDC will continue to monitor for new or changing information about transmission.

Monkeypox can more accurately be described as “sexually transmissible.” In other words, sex is just one of the ways that monkeypox can be spread. In the past, monkeypox outbreaks have been linked to direct exposure to infected animals and animal products, with limited person-to-person spread. In the current monkeypox outbreak, the virus is spreading primarily through close personal contact. This may include contact with infectious lesions or respiratory secretions via close, sustained skin-to-skin contact that occurs during sex. However, any close, sustained skin-to-skin contact with someone who has monkeypox can spread the virus. The contact does not have to be exclusively intimate or sexual.

Monkeypox can spread from person to person through direct contact with the infectious rash, scabs, or body fluids. It also can be spread by respiratory secretions during prolonged, face-to-face contact, or during intimate physical contact, such as kissing, cuddling, or sex.

A person with monkeypox can spread it to others from the time symptoms start until the rash has fully healed and a fresh layer of skin has formed. Some people have been found to have infection but no symptoms. To date, however, there is no evidence that monkeypox spreads from people with no symptoms. CDC will continue to monitor for new or changing information about transmission.

When to get tested:

  • Currently, testing is only recommended if you have a rash consistent with monkeypox.
  • If you think you have monkeypox or have had close personal contact with someone who has monkeypox, consider taking precautions and visit a healthcare provider to help you decide if you need to be tested for monkeypox.

How its diagnosed:

  • You will likely need to fill out paperwork before you get tested.
  • To get a specimen to test, the healthcare provider will use a swab to rub vigorously across lesions of your rash. They will take swabs from more than one lesion.
  • This swabbing may be uncomfortable but is necessary to get enough material to detect the monkeypox virus from the specimens.
  • The specimens will be tested in a lab to see if the monkeypox virus is detected.
  • Results are usually available within a few days.
  • While you are waiting for your results, take precautions to avoid getting or spreading monkeypox virus to others.

The CDC states there is no treatment specifically for monkeypox.   But because the viruses that cause monkeypox and smallpox are similar, antiviral drugs developed to protect against smallpox may be used to treat monkeypox effectively.”  At at this time there’s currently not an approved antiviral treatment for monkeypox.  Monkeypox is usually a self-limited disease with symptoms lasting from two weeks to four weeks.

Most people with monkeypox get better on their own without treatment. Following diagnosis, your healthcare provider will monitor your condition and try to relieve your symptoms like preventing dehydration and give you antibiotics to treat secondary bacterial infections if they develop.

The CDC states “Two vaccines may be used for the prevention of monkeypox disease:

  • JYNNEOS vaccine is approved for the prevention of monkeypox and smallpox. During the current outbreak, JYNNEOS is the main vaccine being used in the United States.
  • ACAM2000 vaccine is approved for immunization against smallpox and made available for use against monkeypox under an Expanded Access Investigational New Drug (EA-IND) protocol.
  • People may be vaccinated after exposure to monkeypox virus to help prevent monkeypox disease (i.e., post-exposure prophylaxis).
  • No data are currently available on the clinical efficacy or effectiveness of JYNNEOS or ACAM2000 for monkeypox disease.”

The CDC states “As of November 29, 2022 The total U.S. cases are 29, 325 and the total deaths in the U.S. 15.”

 

 

 

 

QUOTE FOR TUESDAY:

“The Schnitzler syndrome is a rare and underdiagnosed entity which is considered today as being a paradigm of an acquired/late onset auto-inflammatory disease. It associates a chronic urticarial skin rash, corresponding from the clinico-pathological viewpoint to a neutrophilic urticarial dermatosis, a monoclonal IgM component and at least 2 of the following signs: fever, joint and/or bone pain, enlarged lymph nodes, spleen and/or liver, increased ESR, increased neutrophil count, abnormal bone imaging findings. It is a chronic disease with only one known case of spontaneous remission. Except of the severe alteration of quality of life related mainly to the rash, fever and pain, complications include severe inflammatory anemia and AA amyloidosis. About 20% of patients will develop a lymphoproliferative disorder, mainly Waldenström disease and lymphoma, a percentage close to other patients with IgM MGUS. It was exceedingly difficult to treat patients with this syndrome until the IL-1 receptor antagonist anakinra became available. ”

National Library of Medicine-NIH  (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3018454/)

Schnitzler Syndrome

 

Schnitzler syndrome is considered to be a rare disorder characterized by a monoclonal IgM protein and chronic urticaria that is associated with considerable morbidity. We hypothesized that the syndrome may be under-recognized and patients may be deprived of highly effective therapy in the form of anakinra (an interleukin-1 receptor antagonist=inhibits interleukin 1).  This treatment controls the condition but does not cure it. Around 15% of people develop complications, but the condition generally does not shorten life

Schnitzler is a rare disease characterised by onset around middle age of chronic hives (urticaria) and periodic fever, bone pain and joint pain (sometimes with joint inflammation), weight loss, malaise, fatigue, swollen lymph glands and enlarged spleen and liver.

How its Diagnosed:

Blood tests show a high concentration of specific gamma-globulins (monoclonal gammopathy) of the IgM type. It almost always has light chains of the κ-type. A variant in which IgG is raised has been described, which appears to be one-tenth as common.

CBC, this could show signs of inflammation are often present: these include an increased white blood cell count (leukocytosis) and a raised erythrocyte sedimentation rate=we would see this in what we call a simple Complete Blood Count(CBC) and C-reactive protein blood test.

-There can be anemia of chronic disease showing low red blood count again in a simple CBC.

-Bone abnormalities can be seen on radiological imaging (often increased density or osteosclerosis)

-Biopsy

-What we call the Lipsker criteria require hives, the presence of monoclonal IgM, and at least 2 of the following: fever, joint pain or arthritis, bone pain, swollen lymph nodes, enlarged spleen or liver, elevated erythrocyte sedimentation rate, high levels of white blood cells, and findings of problems in bone imaging.

-What we call the Strasbourg criteria, the person must have hives and the presence of monoclonal IgM or IgG. Schnitzler’s is diagnosed if the person has IgM and two of the following, or IgG and three of the following: recurrent fevers, abnormalities in bone imaging, with or without bone pain, findings of neutrophil infiltration in a skin biopsy, high levels of white blood cells or C-reactive protein.

Other conditions which can cause periodic fevers, paraproteins or chronic hives that should be ruled out, include (and are not limited to) autoimmune or autoinflammatory disorders such as adult-onset Still’s disease, angioedema, hematological disorders such as lymphoma or monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance (MGUS), other causes of hives, cryoglobulinemia, mastocytosis, chronic neonatal onset multisystem inflammatory disease or Muckle–Wells syndrome.

Treatment:

As of 2017 no drug was approved to treat Schnitzlers. Drugs that inhibit interleukin 1 activity have been the preferred treatment since they emerged in 2005; since 2012 a consensus guideline has recommended treatment with anakinra. Immunosuppressant drugs such as corticosteroids, cyclooxygenase inhibitors, interferon alpha may be effective.