Commentary: Bugger Off

In 1918, a virulent strain of influenza evolved out of the blue which killed its victims in  a matter of days.  It is estimated that over 600,000 people in the US and nearly 30,000,000 people worldwide died that year from the flu.Image

Exacerbated by the global transport of soldiers during WWI and the victory celebrations that ensued, the year’s global death toll was greater than at anytime during the Bubonic plague.

Researchers, scientists and physicians scrambled to find a cure.  Unfortunately, conventional medicine had not yet fully comprehended the characteristics of viruses versus bacteria.  This led to several failed vaccination attempts.  Instead, common sense preventive measures proved more effective than traditional medicine.  That is to say: stay clear of crowded places; cover your mouth when coughing; and wear a mask to reduce exposure.

By the end of 1918, the mysterious flu strain seemed to disappear just as mysteriously as it arrived.  The important lesson learned from this horrific episode of our history is that UNTIL  research catches up to new health threats, common sense will trump ongoing research as a more prudent strategy to avoid contracting these illnesses  (e.g., Lyme; Babesiosis,MRSA; Avian flu, Chagas).

So, I SUGGEST that when listening to experts and doctors regarding insect-borne infections, add a dose of common sense to their advice.   Biting insects that penetrate your skin will pass germs to you.

After all, preventing bubonic plague was predominantly a function of clean  hygiene.


~ by Rob on June 4, 2012.

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