Category Archives: Tropical Disease

Check out this post at pazonehealth.org

Because nothing helps to influence people more than intimate knowledge of parasitic diseases. Fact. hydatid being removed from brain.http://www.pazonehealth.org/single-post/2017/09/27/Hydatid-Disease-Part-IV

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Mummies, Chagas’ Disease, Drinks, and Dishes

YOU HAVE TO WONDER about the minds of Incas and scientists.

The mummified remains of a  young woman from Peru have been analyzed. According to radioactive carbon dating, the woman died around 600 years ago. They know that she was Incan by the way that her skull was modified. (I can talk about pretty much any sort of disease or bodily fluid, even while eating, but this enforced body distortion absolutely creeps me out. Not fond of looking at the faces of mummies, either, for that matter.)

Why was this particular woman sacrificed? The researchers, guessing from DNA found in her, believe that she had Chagas’ disease and that her poor health probably made her a likely candidate. We therefore have another reason not to get Chagas’ disease: you will be more likely to be the one chosen to get tossed into the volcano or offered up à la Fay Wray, albeit to smaller primates and ones with prehensile tails.

THE CHILCANO

We haven’t put a drink recipe on here in a while, and if you are relying on us  that you are feeling either pretty thirsty or are sick to death of algorobina cocktails and pisco sours.

The Chilcano was invented in honor of Robinson Canó’s attempt to bring béisbol to Chile, a typically fútbol-mad country. MLB, in the face of waning enthusiasm for baseball, was hoping that the Caribbean locura for the beauty of the diamond would spread to the rest of Latin America, and lead a resurgence in what they hope will be not just America’s pastime, but the  Americas’ pastime. Canó, as MVP,  was sent as an ambassador. Peru, of course, was in principle opposed to this gesture, not because of any dislike for baseball, but what they saw as yet another attempt by their southern neighbors to appropriate pisco as their own, when everyone (including the EU)  knows that Pisco es Peruano.

I like the chilcano because it is easy and it is refreshing.

Into a tall glass filled with ice:

  • 1-2 oz. Pisco
  • 4 oz. ginger ale, ginger beer, or other fizzy mixer.
  • Squeeze the juice of 1/4 lime
  • Garnish with a slice of lime.

chilcano-8277-750x500

AND NOW, for the dish:8full-sylva-koscina
Sylva Koscina was an Italian movie actress, born in the Kingdom of Yugoslavia (now Croatia). She had a successful career in the ’50s and ’60s, and men of a certain age might remember her playing opposite Paul Newman in the The Secret War of Harry Frigg. She invested all of her wealth in a luxurious villa in Rome, but as her income dwindled, she was forced to sell it in order to avoid a charge of tax evasion.

Ms. Koscina died in 1994, at the age of 61, due to breast cancer.

Sylva_Koscina

Chagas’ Disease is NOT the new AIDS: Part I

IN SPITE OF WHAT YOU MAY HAVE READ IN MY FAVORITE NEWSPAPER (the NY Times):

It is a great picture of the bug, though. Why do biting arthropods always have their portraits taken while posing on human flesh?

Chagas’ Disease, while being a medical nightmare, is not the new AIDS.

  • The first, and perhaps biggest problem with this article is calling Chagas’ Disease the “new” anything. Chagas’ disease was discovered in 1909 by a brilliant Brazilian scientist, Carlos Chagas. Chagas’ discovery was justly recognized for this great discovery during his own lifetime.
  • Chagas’ disease is like AIDS, in that it targets certain populations, but that is where the similarity stops. Chagas’ disease is spread by a vector (bugs of the family Reduviidae) that is exquisitely evolved to infect the poor, as it is related to low-quality housing. AIDS does target the poor of the world more than the rich, but there are certain groups that AIDS targeted, or continues to target, that have nothing to do with economic standing. AIDS is not transmitted by arthropod vectors (though there was concern in the early years of the pandemic), but by sexual contact and contaminated transfusions and medical equipment. Chagas’ disease can be spread by transfusion, but this risk is decreasing. As of a few years ago,around two decades after the blood supply began being screened for HIV,  the blood supply in the US began being screened for Chagas’ disease.
  • Chagas’ disease is called a Neglected Tropical Disease. These are diseases that have high prevalence in the hotter regions of the globe, affect a large number of people but yet do not get a lot of attention from the press, their governments, NGOs, and even much of the local population. For example, many residents of Lima (where the power is) don’t even know what Chagas’ disease is, even though it afflicts a large number of Peruvians. Why?  It doesn’t occur in Lima, and public education about the disease does not extend to those who won’t get it, even though they may be the ones most able to help.
  • Stigma: Yes, it sucks to get AIDS or Chagas’ or both together. But tell me from your heart of hearts: Which would you rather tell your co-workers and parents–that you’ve contracted HIV or that you’ve contracted Chagas’. I’m betting on Chagas’. 30 years into the epidemic, and HIV/AIDS still carries a burden unmatched by any other disease.
  • Research funding: No comparison. HIV/AIDS has been a research juggernaut over much of the pandemic. As a result, we’ve made brilliant and amazing progress in treatment and prevention of the disease. Chagas’ disease is still treated by the same two lousy drugs that were used over a decade ago. Some research is being done on new treatments, but I you’d be embarrassed to see the shoestring some of those labs run on. Moreover, most of these studies involve using drugs that were already approved for other indications, such as anti-fungals and anti-malarials.(They ain’t much money to make sellin’ drugs to po’ folk in the developin’ world.)

    No mention of Chagas' disease here.

    No mention of Chagas’ disease here.

That last one was our 100th Post!

LET US GIVE THANKS TO ST. BRIGITTE, OUR PATRON SAINT

Even though this is a public health site, it seems that more people have been led here by the formerly freakishly thin-waisted,

Head, thorax, abdomen..

animal-loving,

buck-toothed,

In her defense, she did say: "Apart from my husband—who maybe will cross over one day as well—I am entirely surrounded by homos. For years, they have been my support, my friends, my adopted children, my confidants."

and proud  hate-speech spewer (several times arrested and fined)

WE KNOW that it would be mean-spirited and even provincially gringoish to disparage a great cultural icon and source of pride to the Gallic heart. We just want to give our readers more of what they want, with the ulterior motive of promoting public health.

With that in mind, we provide this link to an article on the movement to address Neglected Tropical Diseases.

Assassin Bugs on the Beach

And now, …

Tonight we revel

 

One of the reasons we watched Monty Python: Carol Cleveland

 

BECAUSE THE BUGS ARE COMING BACK TOMORROW

You'll see me tomorrow (Asian Tiger Mosquito)

From the Amazon: Another reader with a vector-borne disease?

HAVE YOU SEEN THESE CRITTERS?

Mosquito

mosquito

flea

sand fly

ticks

Richard:
Didn’t see an email for you, so hopefully you’ll get this message.  I was down at my lodge in the Peruvian Amazon this past November.  At the time, I got chewed up viciously my chiggers.  But in retrospect, I suspect it may have been more than just chiggers.  Long story short, upon my return to the states, came down with virulent flu-like symptoms including chills which nearly had me in convulsions that hurt my muscles and than an hour later a fever that would drench my blankets.  All the other flu-like suspects as well.  Even though I had been visiting the jungle for nearly 14 years, I had never been this ill before.  Eventually, the symptoms went away and I didn’t give it much more thought.  Fast forward.  In December, noticed a ringing in my ears.  In February, my left arm began to ache and was unable to lift it.  At the same a mysterious rash appeared one night on both the left and ride side of my ribs right beneath my arms.  No itch or pain, but looked like flea bites.  But nowhere else on my body and my wife didn’t have any bites. Seemed odd, but after a few weeks it disappeared.  But then the pain in my left arm migrated into my right arm.  Also, a slight numbness on the left side of my face.  Went to my GP and he told me I had rotator cuff injury and I should see a physical therapist.  Wait, I’m not stupid.  Where in the medical journals do they talk about rotator cuff injuries traveling from one arm to the other?  None-the-less, I’ve since moved onto a neurologist who had had many MRIs performed, blood tests and most recently a spinal tap.  Based upon my research, I’m starting to hypothesize that maybe I got bit by a tick in addition to all those chiggers…but I haven’t been able to find much in online literature that indicates there are ticks in the Amazon jungle, and if so, if they would carry lyme disease or a distant cousin of that?  I’m at my wit’s end and my symptoms are getting worse.  Do you think there’s any merit to my way of thinking?  Thanks, ________

Dear____,

Please tell me that your doctor checked for malaria. Any traveler with a fever who is returning from an area  known to have malaria needs to be tested. Were you tested for any other diseases? Were you on an anti-malarial? If you had been on a quinine derivative for the malaria, that could be the cause of ringing in the ears.

As far as I can tell, Lyme doesn’t really exist in South America.

Did Darwin Die of Chagas’ Disease?

From The Voyage of the Beagle:

We crossed the Luxan, which is a river of considerable size, though its course towards the sea-coast is very imperfectly known: it is even doubtful whether, in passing over the plains, it is not evaporated and lost. We slept in the village of Luxan, which is a small place surrounded by gardens, and forms the most southern cultivated district in the Province of Mendoza; it is five leagues south of the capital. At night I experienced an attack (for it deserves no less a name) of the Benchuca, a species of Reduvius, the great black bug of the Pampas. It is most disgusting to feel soft wingless insects, about an inch long, crawling over one’s body. Before sucking they are quite thin, but afterwards they become round and bloated with blood, and in this state are easily crushed. One which I caught at Iquique (for they are found in Chile and Peru) was very empty. When placed on a table, and though surrounded by people, if a finger was presented, the bold insect would immediately protrude its sucker, make a charge, and if allowed, draw blood. No pain was caused by the wound. It was curious to watch its body during the act of sucking, as in less than ten minutes it changed from being as flat as a wafer to a globular form. This one feast, for which the benchuca was indebted to one of the officers, kept it fat during four whole months; but, after the first fortnight, it was quite ready to have another suck.

From Manson’s Tropical Diseases, 13th edition

Save the Colonial Subjects! (But leave the Women and Fat Guys at Home.)

For years, Manson’s was the textbook on tropical disease. The 13th edition had some notions that we would now call, at best, quaint. It was, after all, 1951.

Chapter 1

Preparations for Residence in the Tropics

General Observations

In examining personnel with reference to their fitness for residence in the tropics, the age of the candidate is obviously important. He or she should have attained maximum development before going out. Those under 21—and this is especially true of women—withstand extreme heat and humidity badly, and appear, moreover to be more susceptible to tropical diseases. Women should be fully matured in mind as well as body and, as a rule, their age to be somewhat higher than that for men, which is from 23 to 25. It is a matter of observation that men over 40 find it difficult to accustom themselves to a intense heat, though exceptions will readily occur to the mind, such as Robert Koch, a pioneer in medical find, and Abel Chapman in zoology. Both had already passed 40 ere they set foot in central Africa, and both found themselves equal to its exacting demands.

While there can be no absolute standard of height and weight, the deviation from the generally accepted averages should not be great. As a rule, spareness  is more desirable than plumpness. Certainly the tropics is no place for the fat man. The “lanky,” spare type is best suited to tropical conditions, and the dark-hair, brown-eyed and dark- complexioned is generally considered more fitted than the blue-eyed, fair-haired, tender skin “Nordic” or “Aryan” type.