Tag Archives: #health and well being

What is a Viral Infection?

Germs are microorganisms that can be a disease producing (pathogenic) agent, and we know they are part of our surrounding environment. They are living organisms (aka biologic agents) that are able to invade and multiply in body tissues that can cause local cellular injury.

Germs have a cellular structure similar to all living things. These infectious germs include bacteria, protozoa, rickettsia, and fungi next to Virus’s. Today, we will explore just what is a Viral infection?


Traits of a Virus

A virus is an infectious agent that has the following traits;

  • able to easily ‘filter‘ through ‘bacteria retaining filters‘ due to their small size
  • contain molecules of nucleic acids, either DNA or RNA (like all living things!)
  • a protein coating, or made of carbohydrates, and fatty materials
  • an inability to grow and replicate outside a living cell

Ok, anyone else thinking about that movie ‘Alien‘ ?

A virus can be particularly dangerous to humans with these traits. They can easily ‘camouflage‘ themselves, and lie ‘dormant‘ in the body’s cells without calling attention to themselves.

Initial Response to a Virus

The virus will invade and affect host cells to act in four ways as follows;

  • may allow the virus to ‘live‘ in it’s cytoplasm where the virus lies dormant
  • may die without reproducing itself
  • may divide and then die
  • is transformed to divide and begins abnormal growth patterns
covid 19 enters various cells in human body

The human body’s immune response system gets triggered once cellular damage begins, and can lead to harm of the body’s cells, or damage to cells in other ways.

A virus can change our cell’s membranes so they’re not recognized by our body causing our immune system to attack our body’s own cells, and get injured or destroyed by our own immune system.

Infectious Process

The process for an infectious virus to spread from person-to-person must be in place. Picture a chain, and the links needed to create it’s length. So must a virus have specific links readied in proper sequence to be passed on.

Covid 19 seeks New Hosts continuously

The infectious disease occurs if their needed links are present and set in proper sequence, as follows;

  • Link I, the germ must be the ‘causative organism‘. Removal of this link can only occur if the causitive organism is destroyed, or changed to be harmless, while in the host cell environment. Otherwise, it will grow into sufficient numbers, and virulence to destroy normal surrounding tissue.
  • Link II, infectious organisms thrive and reproduce in ‘reservoirs‘ in the human body such as body tissues, and wastes of human, (animals and insects) or in food and water that’s contaminated by the virus.
  • Link III, a ‘portal of exit‘ such as the respiratory tract, reproductive tract, and the intestinal tract. Injury to the skin, or mucous membranes also provide portals of entry and exit (Link V) through cuts, tears, infections, or damaged that organisms can enter or leave. Remember the virus is tiny.
  • Link IV, ‘mode of transfer‘ from the host via the hands, air currents, fomites (inanimate objects, cups, books, cupboards, etc.), vectors (insects can harbor germs, and transfer with a bite and sting), droplets from coughing and sneezing, and any means the pathogens can move from place or host to another.
  • Link V, a ‘portal of entry‘ which the pathogens can ENTER the body of a new host
  • Link VI, a ‘susceptible host‘, one who has no, or poor immunity, or lack protective resistance to overcome the invasion of pathogens for infection. Many are susceptible due to age, poor diet, immuno – compromised health, poor living conditions, poor health, exposure to weather elements, stress to the body.

Human Body Response

The human body responds with protective measures to invasive infections with the formation of ‘antibodies‘ and a series of responses from our immune systems starting with symptoms of localized ‘inflammation‘. A covid -19 infection is known to cause a ‘cytokine storm’.

definition – cytokine storm

Classic signs of the ‘inflammatory response‘ are heat, redness, swelling, pain, and/or loss of function. These are physical responses of the physiological changes occurring during the inflammatory response stage.

The location and severity of the inflammation can help identify the source of the response and monitor it’s progression or regression. A viral infection will induce a systemic (whole body) inflammatory response such as headaches, chills, muscle aches, sweating, loss of appetite, and depression.

body organs are ‘reservoirs’ for Covid virus to thrive – one organ goes down, rest will follow

The symptoms alone cannot tell us the difference between flu or Covid-19 since both share similar symptoms. It’s important to get tested for both flu and Covid-19. Check to see if family or close friend can pick up, and drop off a PCR test. Symptoms will begin anywhere 2 – 14 days after exposed to Covid-19, and can range from mild to severe.

Medical concerns with these symptoms are problems that arise such as poor fluid intake, nutrition imbalance, poor comfort, activity intolerance, loss of motion, decline in self-care, frequent urination or defecation, and increased need for rest.

Controlling Infectious Disease

The Centre for Disease Control (CDC) recommended the use of ‘Universal Precautions‘ for healthcare teams in 1987. A directive for health care professionals to view all patient blood, and body fluids as potentially infectious, and to be handled as such.

medical teams use ‘barriers’ to prevent infection for patient and themselves

I think we have all seen health care staff with gloves, caps, masks and gowns, and maybe face shields. All this is similar to ‘personal protective equipment‘ (PPE) but for healthcare staff at medical facilities.This is all part of ‘Universal Precautions’ practice. Are you comfortable entering a hospital knowing, it’s been sanitized?

Major goals for healthcare teams who work with infectious diseases are as follows;

  • promote sanitary standards in communities
  • identify highly susceptible persons to infections
  • reduce the chances of getting or spread of infections
  • promote and deliver immunization programs against infectious diseases
medical team teach people to stay healthy

Unfortunately we have substandard housing, indoor and outdoor rodents, insects, dust, human waste, contaminated foods and water supplies that are all major sources of infections. Do you make efforts to sanitize your home?

Virus’s of Today

Today, we have the SARs-Covid, RSV, and the Flu virus’s going on around us aka the ‘tripledemic‘. Health professionals know that virus’s are continuously evolving, and adapting to their surrounding environment. This includes adapting to bypass the protections from vaccines for the SARS-Covid 19 virus.

prevent covid infection vaccine and tests thank Health teams

Health researchers have released near bi-monthly reports that the Covid virus gets more infectious with every adaptation (new generation), and new names are added to the list of this evolving virus. I don’t think I’m alone trying to remember the name of the latest, or the name of the last virus. 😐

Tiring of Stress Living with a Pandemic

Pandemic fatigue refers to people tiring of the safety precautions set in place by Health officers, and government officials plus worrying about keeping jobs to insure shelter, food and paying the bills. They are no longer ‘mandating‘ masks but tell us, ‘do your best’.

It will be your own responsibility whether you stay healthy or get infected. It will be your responsibility whether you wear a mask, wash your hands, and maintain a safe distance.

Covid Safety Reminder for Pandemic Prevention

I continue wearing my mask, washing my hands, and keeping my distance. I have family with immunocompromised health issues that these infections could seriously cause further damage or death.

definition of immunocompromised

I would rather do my best to Protect my family, friends, and neighbors plus You. So, if you see me with my mask, nod, and don’t mind me. We’re in this together, our scientists are working hard plus studying each new variant to find a cure or improve the vaccine. We can only do our best, to stay alive, stay healthy, have faith in our scientists, and each other.

Learning in Motion

explanation of a virus

Extra Learning Resources

What is Virology?

What is a vaccine? Types, stages for approval

What to know about antiviral drugs and products

I hope you found this article informative and gained some new insight. Please feel free to leave your comments and share your new found knowledge with others. Use the β€˜Ask A Question’ form to make a request on a topic of your own interest. It is FREE to subscribe by email or RSS feed.

AIC| An Informal Cornr, all rights reserved. Ginsense writes articles at AIC|An Informal Cornr about business skills and development, health, science, technology, society, and enjoys advocating for independence, security and a better world for all of us. Learn something new πŸ™‚ Visit today!


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7 Types of Shock

Emergency doors for medical treatment

Emergency treatment by qualified medical professionals begins once a Good Samaritan calls for help, and the ambulance arrives. The whole medical team has a short window of a few hours to help a victim recover, and survive when a loved one is in one of 7 types of shock.

Shock occurs when the body goes into circulatory failure from damage, and inability to control, or loss from, circulating fluid throughout the body. A dangerous level reached in the reduction of blood flow and delivery of oxygen, to tissues and organs left untreated can lead to collapse, coma, and death.

Tests, blood and lab results and medical alert bracelet or card plus access to their primary doctors’ file on victim is needed to verify the health conditions, and any other underlying health issues before a treatment regimen can begin. Not all victims are so lucky, and do die.

Shock is applied as a ‘catch-all’ phrase since it does not fully define any one set of symptoms. There are seven types of shock and each have differing symptoms but do have a common ‘classic‘ symptom.

7 Types of Shock

Medical research has been able to identify and list the different types of circulatory shock, as follows;

Low volume shock – aka hypovolemic or hemorrhagic shock and occurs when there is low blood flow to skin and muscles from a severe loss of blood, fluid or plasma, and doesn’t fill the circulatory system.

  • Causes – open wounds to the body and internal organs, loss of plasma from burns, fluid loss from gastroenteritis, vomiting
  • Symptoms – dramatic blood pressure drop, weakness, confusion, pallor, sweating as the body tries to compensate
  • Treatment – saline solution and plasma help replace fluids lost, severe blood loss may require a blood transfusion, close any open wounds with sutures, tests such as a CT scan will find any internal bleeding, bleeding in the skull may cause compression of the brain, a hole will need to be drilled to relieve pressure, clamps are used for bleeding from small blood vessels until able to tie them off or use of diathermy, a high frequency electric current.

Neurogenic shock – usually caused by psychological factors and overwhelms the normal bodily functions of the nervous system.

  • Causes – great trauma, pain, fright, war, crime
  • Symptoms – low blood pressure, dizziness, nausea, vomiting, catatonic (blank stare), fainting, increased sweating, anxiety, pale skin, and severe shock will show, difficulty breathing, chest pain, weakness, slow heart rhythm (bradycardia), weak pulse, bluish hue skin color or discolored lips and fingers aka cyanosis, hypothermia, will shiver and feel cold
  • Treatment – raising the feet above the level of the head is usually enough to relieve this type of shock

Septic shock – due to a bacterial infection since some organisms multiply in the bloodstream and release toxins which reacts with blood vessels.

  • Causes – injury site becomes infected and spreads into the bloodstream.
  • Symptoms – high fever, chills, rapid breathing, headache, low to high levels delirium, possible skin rash, yellowish hue to the skin, warm hands. Large amounts of infection in the blood leads to septic shock.
  • Treatment – several treatment strategies are used such as balanced corticosteroid usage, antiendotoxin treatment, vasoactive agents (levosimendan), hyperbaric oxygen treatment, fibrates, and several antioxidant supplements
storage of blood components for medical emergencies

Allergic shock – aka anaphylactic shock (anaphylaxis) is a severe reaction and high sensitivity to an injected foreign protein that directly affects blood vessels and other body tissues.

  • Causes – insect venom, injection of antibiotic or other medication and/or food.
  • Symptoms – itchy raised rash, swollen (constricted) airways (bronchospasm), abdominal pain, swollen tongue or throat, and diarrhea.
  • Treatment – Epipen uses single epinephrine dose, severe shock requires oxygen therapy; intubation to help with breathing, medications via IV line fed, to ; reduce respiratory swelling, antihistamines, narrow blood vessels and raise blood pressure if dangerously low, help block allergic reactions and reduce swelling, low blood pressure

Cardiogenic shock – conditions or events that cause the heart to a decrease in cardiac output (weakened pumping and, or irregular rhythmic action).

  • Causes – heart attack, inflammation aka myocarditis, severe heart failure, or interference to heart electrical rhythm, pulmonary embolism blocking blood flow to the heart, inflammation of abdominal cavity aka peritonitis, some types of poisoning, spinal injury, street drugs.
  • Symptoms – rapid breathing, severe shortness of breath, sudden rapid heartbeat (tachycardia), loss of consciousness, weak pulse, low blood pressure (hypotension), cool moist skin, decreasing alertness, low to no urinating at all
  • Treatment – treatment will focus on reducing damage from lack of oxygen to your heart muscle and other organs, oxygen therapy, IV line will feed fluids and plasma plus medications to reduce ; blood clots, low blood pressure (hypotension), improve pumping function of heart, prevent blood clots and help blood flow, and to prevent formation of blood clots. Surgery may be needed as next step.

Toxic Shock Syndrome, TSS – caused by toxins released by an overgrowth of the bacterium staphylococcus aureus, Streptococcus pyogenes, or Clostridium sordellii within the body.

  • Causes – affects menstruating women, sometimes men. It’s due to infection and overgrowth of staphylococcus aureus, Streptococcus pyogenes, or Clostridium sordellii bacteria on tampons, internal birth control devices, miscarriage, surgical wounds, abortion, or an open wound. It can recur.
  • Symptoms – a sudden high fever, low blood pressure, vomiting or diarrhea, a rash that looks like sunburn and sheds in sheets, particularly on your palms and soles, confusion, muscle aches, redness of eyes, mouth and throat, possible seizures, and headaches
  • Treatment – IV line fed antibiotics, fluids and/or blood transfusion, heart medications for very low blood pressure, dialysis may be required in people if there is kidney failure, supplemental or mechanical oxygen, deep surgical cleaning of an infected wound

Insulin Shock – aka as #Diabetic shock, occurs when the blood sugar levels dip too low and there’s too much insulin.

  • Causes – skip a meal, changing schedule of taking your insulin, changing amount or timing of meals, increasing physical activity, drinking alcohol on an empty stomach
  • Symptoms – anxiety, irritability, headache, extreme hunger, dizziness, physical shaking of extremities, pale skin, excessive sweating, slurred speech, confusion, rapid pulse, coordination issues, seizures, fainting, coma plus additional symptoms of nightmares, calling out while sleeping, aggressive behaviour, sweat-soaked clothing or bedding
  • Treatment – a conscious victim can take a fast-action sugar candy or drink, an unconscious victim may have a Glucogon Injection (similar to Epipen but delivers a sugar), rub sugar on their gums if unconscious, never ‘feed’ an unconscious victim, Paramedics can also give the Glucogon injection, set up IV site, and CPR if necessary. The Hospital will feed sugar intravenously, and victim should wake in 15 minutes. Cardiac arrest can occur and the victim will slip into a coma, organs begin to shut down, once the brain shuts down, death ensues. It’s important to wear a medical bracelet with such health conditions.
time is limited for medical emergencies like shock

Classic Symptoms of Shock

The symptoms for shock will vary and depend on the type of shock that’s been activated. The human body will have it’s own defense mechanisms that automatically respond to the injury. The classic symptoms of shock are as follows;

  • cold, moist, pale skin especially at the extremities
  • lips and fingers will be pale
  • rapid and weak pulse
  • low blood pressure
  • low level of consciousness
  • thirst
  • low urine output (oliguria)

Emergency treatment can begin with First Aid from a Good Samaritan and then continue in the ambulance by #Paramedics to the hospital. They will act quickly to support the body’s own mechanisms to reduce the severity of shock and lessen the effects of the injury.

medical team work together for #recovery

Treatment

A medical Emergency begins with you or somebody trained with basic First Aid skills, for CPR until the Paramedics from the ambulance arrive, and they will begin the management of shock with overall goals to stop blood loss, increase blood flow to tissues and organs, maintain body heat, oxygen therapy for the heart, relieve pain, splinting wounds or positioning.

It is at this point that medical team members will provide comfort and reassurance to the victim, as this helps support the body’s energy focused on it’s own natural defense mechanisms. Nursing interventions include care for mental health of patients. Covering the victim with a blanket helps keep the body’s normal temperature and circulation. Careful observation will ensure heating the victim does not induce sweating, as this is loss of fluids.

The victim is normally laid flat on his back but if blood loss from wounds occurred they will be positioned on their side to prevent choking or breathing vomitus into their lungs. Care will include setting an IV site for either a blood transfusion, saline, or other blood components (such as plasma), and/or medication therapy, to restore the circulating blood volume.

An oxygen nose cannula or mask will be given to prevent possible onset of respiratory collapse, and possibly a narcotic medication for pain management. This will depend on the type of shock, and Physician orders.

When you may need to Call for Emergency Help

People of all walks of life, ages and income ride a bike, take strolls, and drive around various areas of their neighborhood. We don’t always pay attention to those areas that are not regularly used by the public. They may be closed to the public or just a scarey alley for business use but those most marginalized people will know about those areas.

It is these areas where somebody may need medical emergency help. Next time you walk by a staircase that leads to, who knows where other than to maybe a railroad line, take a quick look up the stairs. Somebody could be laying there trying to call for help.

Some people walk on by without thinking about homeless people whether they be adults or youths. Their thoughts are usually that, ‘oh, they know what to do,’ but NO they don’t always know or may not be ABLE to speak to call for help. This is also the same for our Elderly people, they may not know, have poor hearing nor be able to speak either. Just take five minutes, check.

good neighbors will call for Help

Signs of Distress for Help

Signs of medical distress to ones body does create obvious signs and symptoms. We just have to be observant enough to recognize somebody needs medical help. Did you know? deaths of the Homeless people were never counted? Nobody knows the exact numbers of those that passed away, alone.

The following are signs and symptoms that should get immediate calls for help and to call 911;

  • breathing problems (difficulty breathing, shortness of breath)
  • near drowning
  • deep or large wound
  • poor self-bandaging with non-medical alternative
  • sudden ; pain, dizziness, weakness, change of vision, suspect poisonous substance, abdominal pain or when applying light pressure
  • fresh, continuous bleeding
  • change in mental status (such as unusual behavior, confusion, difficulty rousing)
  • chest pain
  • choking
  • coughing up or vomiting blood
  • fainting or unconsciousness
  • feeling suicidal or talking about committing murder
  • head or spine injury
  • severe or persistent vomiting
  • vehicle accident
  • burns or smoke inhalation

I don’t think any of us would want some sort of medical episode like, a stroke which could cause dizziness, and then we fall and roll into a nearby ditch and unable to move due to paralysis, unable to speak or move, and having to watch people glance then quickly look away, and ignore you, right?

Unseen Homeless need Help too

requesting help from strangers

A report done by the Canadian Observatory on Homelessness at their Homeless Hub website, states the following;

Several years ago, an information graphic put together by Scott SΓΈrli contrasted the decline in social assistance rates after the Common Sense Revolution (under Conservative Premier Mike Harris) with the increase in homeless deaths in Toronto.

AUTHOR: Gulliver, Tanya (2014) Homeless Hub

The program has since been changed and annual reports are now provided to government and partner organizations that help the homeless. That infographic is heartbreaking and unimaginably inhuman. Ignoring the high rates of deaths of the homeless is NOT a badge of honor for anybody to wear especially our government nor our community.

Answer the Requests for Help

Let’s be that Good Samaritan should the moment arise, and somebody needs your help. Call 911 and get Emergency medical help, quick! Somebody’s life may depend on you. I hope such an event does not happen but we never know, and at least we can do that one easy task.

Fear of the unknown makes people hesitate and maybe stop outright. If this is a concern of yours or somebody you know there are CPR training courses available. A little research online will show who offers the course, pricing, and all other frequently asked questions (FAQ). They will teach you the basic first aid skills that once learned, you know for life even if you’re required to ‘renew’ your Certification.

Let’s remember that not everybody is born with perfect health, so let’s work together to keep our eyes open to those who are vulnerable. I’m sure God would smile. πŸ™‚

Learning in Motion

Extra Learning Resources

Free Printable Medical ID Wallet Cards

Most Common Health Problems in Elderly People

10 Common Childhood Illnesses and Their Treatments

I hope you found this article informative and gained some new insight. Please feel free to leave your comments and share your new found knowledge with others. Use the β€˜Ask A Question’ form to make a request on a topic of your own interest. It is FREE to subscribe to my RSS feed.

AIC| An Informal Cornr, all rights reserved. Ginsense writes articles at AIC|An Informal Cornr about business skills and development, health, science, technology, society and enjoys advocating for independence, security and a better world for all of us. Learn something new πŸ™‚ Visit today!

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