Tag Archives | infection

A fifth of schizophrenia cases ‘may be attributable to T. gondii infection’

Toxoplasma gondii, an obligate intracellular human parasite, has a unique cytoskeletal apparatus that is probably used for invading host cells and for parasite replication. Shown here are images of T. gondii constructing daughter scaffolds within the mother cell. Cyan: YFP-α-Tubulin; yellow: mRFP-TgMORN1

Toxoplasma gondii, an obligate intracellular human parasite, has a unique cytoskeletal apparatus that is probably used for invading host cells and for parasite replication. Shown here are images of T. gondii constructing daughter scaffolds within the mother cell. Cyan: YFP-α-Tubulin; yellow: mRFP-TgMORN1

via Medical News Today:

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimate that around 60 million people in the US may be infected with T. gondii. Infection most commonly occurs through eating undercooked, contaminated meat, drinking contaminated water and coming into contact with cat feces that contain T. gondii.

Most people with T. gondii infection are unaware they have it; people with healthy immune systems are usually able to stop the parasite causing illness. But for those with weaker immune systems, such as older people, pregnant women and those with immune system disorders, the parasite can cause toxoplasmosis.

Toxoplasmosis a disease characterized by flu-like symptoms, including swollen lymph glands and muscle aches and pains.

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Mind Viruses, Post-Modernism and the Rise of the Neo-Shaman: Everyone is Sick in the Head

Memetic exorcism?

Ideology_IconAlthough now we tend to associate the word “meme” with image macros, the original intent was to conceptualize why certain ideas – religious, political, moral – spread more quickly than others.

Some personal ideas regarding this is that contagion is dependent upon simplifying complex concepts in as few words as possible, invoking tried and true cultural archetypes, and using charismatic people as initial meme vectors.

Now, we’re all infected with these mind viruses to some extent or the other, but some of them are more destructive than others and not all of us are aware of them. When you’re aware of mind viruses they can be used constructively. For example, “Follow the Golden Rule” or “Save the environment.” In addition, toxic memes can be used as well to inoculate against full infection, much like one can be immunized against the flu by using “dead” viruses. Awareness and consent – and subsequent moderation –  is critical in this process.… Read the rest

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Best Way To Reduce Infection Risk In Hospitals? Open The Windows!

University College Hospital, 235 Euston Road, NW1 - geograph.org.uk - 671049How often do you see open windows in hospitals? Hardly ever, right? As reported by BBC News, opening those grimy windows could decrease risk of infection fourfold:

Keeping the windows open on traditional NHS wards can dramatically reduce the risk of infection, say researchers.

The University of Leeds study suggests closing windows, for example to cut heating bills, increases the risk of infection fourfold.

The researchers used experiments and computer modelling to map the passage of air and germs through wards.

They say fitting household extractor fans to windows could maintain sufficient air flow in winter.

The study looked at air flow in traditional “Nightingale wards”, built as open wards of around 30 beds with opening windows and named after Florence Nightingale, who set out the principles of ward design in the 19th Century.

Balloons filled with carbon dioxide – to represent an airborne pathogen – were popped and the gas followed throughout the ward using tracer devices.

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The Hidden Epidemic Of Tapeworms Living Inside People’s Brains

k8263-5iA real-life invasion of the body snatchers scenario — tapeworms in your brain are the worst, basically. Via Discovery:
Some fall into comas. Some are paralyzed down one side of their body. Others can’t walk a straight line. Still others come to Nash partially blind, or lose the ability to speak; many fall into violent seizures. Underneath this panoply of symptoms is the same cause, captured in the MRI scans that Nash takes of his patients’ brains. Each brain contains one or more whitish blobs. You might guess that these are tumors. But Nash knows the blobs are not made of the patient’s own cells. They are tapeworms. Aliens. “Nobody knows exactly how many people there are with it in the United States,” says Nash, who is the chief of the Gastrointestinal Parasites Section at NIH. His best estimate is 1,500 to 2,000. Worldwide, the numbers are vastly higher.
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Clinic Mistake Exposes Patients To HIV and Hepatitis

Photo: Andrew Magill (CC)

Photo: Andrew Magill (CC)

It’s difficult to hear your doctor say you have cancer. It’s even more difficult to hear how his nurse used the same needle for 2 months before using it to take your blood. Sky News reports:

More than 50 cancer patients will have to wait an agonising three months to find out whether they have been infected with HIV, after a NSW clinic used one needle on patients for two months.

The bungle occurred when a newly employed nurse mistakenly believed the Accu-Chek Multiclix, a device used to check blood sugar levels, automatically changed needles.

Dr. Michael Jones, chairman of the private radiology company PRP Diagnostic Imaging which runs the Gosford clinic, said the nurse didn’t realise she had to change the needle manually for each new patient.

Instead, the needle was left unchanged between November 28 and January 28, and used on 53 patients and two staff members.

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Daily Pill Helps Prevent HIV Infection

120px-HIV-budding-ColorWhile this pill would be an amazing achievement helping to reduce the spread of HIV, even the volunteers in the trial couldn’t remember to take it everyday. The best prevention of HIV is the knowledge of how it is transmitted and how ways to prevent it. From BBC News:

A daily pill to prevent HIV infection would be a significant development. A trial published in the New England Journal of Medicine suggests that an established treatment for HIV infection is also powerful in protecting gay men from catching the virus.

This is not, however, the answer to the nearly 30 year epidemic of HIV and AIDS. Since it is just one trial, many more studies will need to follow. But according to the Terrence Higgins Trust (THT) it is “potentially very significant and could change the HIV landscape in the future”.

Some brief facts about the trial: it involved about 2,500 men at high risk of HIV infection in Peru, Ecuador, Brazil South Africa, Thailand and the United States (San Francisco and Boston).

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