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The 'methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus' (MRSA) is a group also known as 'hospital disease' because that is the most common place to get it. It is very resistant to anti-biotics  and is very easily transmitted through the air and by touching.  "It's a super bug - you can wipe your nose and scratch your leg and it can kill you."

Others include CMRSA, a more powerful or Super Super bug, Mad Cow disease, sepsis, and bird flu.  I'm sure there are many others and many that haven't been discovered or are not yet showing their ugly heads.

Guess it's time to add the H1N1 virus.

The
super bugs we know about

What in Hell's name is a Super Bug?

In simple terms it's a life threatening bug for which we have no defences.  This may be one of the most dangerous effects of climatic changes.  We all, while growing up, build antibodies in our system which fight of a variety of critters bent on making us sick or even killing us.  These antibodies are created only when a threat occurs in our bodies.  Over time we build great resistance to the bugs that we normally come in contact with.

      

So ...

 the problem arises when we come into contact with a very powerful bug that we have no defence against. One that comes from another part of the world.  Those of us who live in the southern hemisphere build antibodies to the bugs in the south, while we in the northern hemisphere build our defences against the northern bug cultures.  We move these guys around in airplanes and on ships, in containers and through the mail.  Most of them are susceptible to the different climates.  Northern bugs get killed by the excessive southern heat, southern bugs, by the northern cold.  So what happens when the climates change? Well firstly, the north may get warmer so that the southern bugs can survive and are no longer killed by the cold.  Secondly, bugs that can barely survive in one climate  may be even more prolific in the other.  A recent example of the phenomenon is the Pine Beetle which would normally die in the cold winter months in Canada but now thrives killing masses of pine trees.  Bugs that attack humans act in a similar manor.  When southern bugs manage to survive in the north due to warming,  we northerners have no ready antibodies for them so we get very very sick, even die.  The danger is usually most acute for very young children and the elderly.  In the past many bugs would have died when they got off the plane but now they multiply instead and can create the dreaded health pandemic.

In Ontario, Canada our government has put out a pamphlet about Pandemics.  It's a good one, but just in case you haven't seen such information the following might help a little.  Please do not rely on this as the gospel.  Your own government, or the net should give you much more detailed information on how to cope in a health pandemic.  More info at www.gov.on.ca/pandemic

  1. Stay home.  Do not go to work or school.  Do not go out, especially to any crowded place such as the hockey arena, the grocery store, the theatre, the night club.  Need to talk with the neighbour?  Phone.
  2. If you have to go out, shower, change your clothes and launder them, immediately you return home.  Do not bring anything new into your home.  Leave new acquisitions outside in the shed for as long as possible.  A few days if possible.
  3. Food purchases should be washed immediately after you are (you first), and the sink in which they are washed should be immediately cleaned with a mild solution of chlorine.  Canned or otherwise sealed foods can be cleaned in the solution of chlorine to insure the surfaces are clean.  Buy only locally grown fresh vegetables if possible.
  4. Do not come into close contact with family members who have been away from the house. If you have been out, have another member of the family, who has not been out, look after changing the diapers on the baby or grandpa.
  5. Wash your hands frequently with soap.  A flu shot will keep you from getting ordinary flu thus helping to maintain you bodies resistance.
  6. Take extra precautions and treat even the most minor cuts or scratches with an antiseptic and if you are lucky enough to come into contact with a bird or it's droppings clean up immediately and don't spare the antiseptic.  No, it's not " just a scratch!"
  7. Listen to the news regularly (If available) and get the advice for the specific health pandemic when it is encountered.
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Good luck!

Back home before your bitten
I'm goin' tuh get yuh!
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