Dengue’s coming;Man vs. Microbe PDF Print E-mail
Saturday, 16 May 2015 09:07

BEHIND  THE  LINES

BY BOB JALDON

 

San Jose, CA. — Zamboanga’s summertime woes don’t seem to go away making lives downright inconvenient, to say the least. Pretty soon (if he hasn’t than that yet), we’ll hear Dr. Rodel Agbulos sounding the alarm against dengue and other bacterial outbreak that often invade depraved barangays. Ha, our power and water problems won’t be over yet (and miles to go before it’s fixed) “until the fat lady sings.” At least there’s this latest power agreement between ZAMCELCO and Alson’s Power Group to purchase a 20-megawatt generating set. With the intercession of Honorable Congressman Celso L. Lobregat, the project could be fast-tracked. Gracias.

Since reading, writing and watching television, not to mention a periodic doctor’s visit, have become my closest friends during the winter months, I’ve stumbled on an article about the battle against bacteria entitled “Man vs. Microbe” by Alice Park. But first, I must tell you that the coldest winter month in North America is February. I wonder why it’s not December or January. Some scientists will have to explain that to me. Now, allow me to pass on the article to you, just FYI.

“We’ve come to assume that just about any bug we’ve been saddled with — from strep to staph — can be wiped out with a quick round of anti-biotics. But in the U.S. alone, roughly two million people every year get infections that can’t be treated with anti-biotics, and 23,000 of them die as a result. The bacteria to blame, the so-called superbugs, are now present in every corner of the planet, according to a landmark report from the World Health Organization (WHO). In some countries, about 50 percent of people infected with K. pneumoniae or E. coli bacteria won’t respond to our most powerful anti-biotics, say global health experts. That means doctors are increasingly running out of ammunition they rely on to fight these harmful microbes.

“Bacteria have been evolving to resist the drugs designed to kill them since the first anti-biotic has discovered in 1928.

“France used to have the highest rate of anti-biotic prescription in Europe, but a government campaign helped lower the number of doctor-issued Rxs by 26% in six years.

“In Sweden, the regulations to phase out preventive use of anti-biotics in agriculture — in which low doses are given to keep animals healthy and plump — cut sales of the drugs for farming by 67% since 1986. The Netherlands and Denmark have also restricted anti-biotic use on livestock.

“Progress in the U.S. has been slower. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently issued guidelines on reducing anti-biotics in farming, but they are voluntary. The agency is also taking steps to curb use of anti-bacterials in some consumer products, requiring manufacturers to prove that anti-bacterials are better than soap and water in keeping germs at bay.

“Before anti-biotics, something as minor as a cut or a sore throat could be a death sentence. The recent measure are small steps in the right direction, but much more needs to be done.”

Seriously? Science says that an early clinical experiment, an FDA-approved drug that is used to treat bone-marrow disorders “successfully restored hair growth in people with alopecia, an auto-immune disease that attacks hair follicies, causing baldness.” (Are you reading this, Calvs?)

Still on health, researchers injected the bacteria “Clostridium Noryi” into cancerous tumors in dogs and found that it either “reduced the size of the tumors or got rid of them altogether. The method also shrunk a tumor in one human.” However, more research is needed.

Yes. Science says that “heart attack survivors who get six hours of vigorous exercise weekly are at an increased risk of dying of heart attacks.” Well, just don’t overdo it, folks in the 50s and above.