It’s not just vital, it’s absolutely crucial. A just-in-time reminder that both viruses and bacteria are living things, exactly like us.
More to the point, they are the most successful life-forms on the planet since the dawn of time. Survivors that adapt and change to suit conditions around them. Mutating to something entirely new in just minutes
Anatomy of a disaster
Which is why the flu-jab went wrong.
Every year, the most dangerous and virulent flu viruses mutate into a new strain. Every year, medical experts develop a new vaccine to clobber them. A moving target, because the viruses keep mutating all the time. So researchers have to predict which way they will develop before they actually do. Then work like mad to produce an effective serum before the opportunity passes.
Sometimes they guess right, sometimes they don’t. The viruses zig when they were expected to zag – sending that year’s protection plans down the drain.
Guess and super-guess
Which is what happened this winter. The A(H3N2) flu strain used to make the vaccine became sidelined when the main H3 virus developed in another direction. Result, 28,189 more deaths than the previous year – and a whole witch hunt about who is responsible and why.
Except nobody’s learning, are they?
Nobody is heeding the vital message – that viruses and bacteria mutate. That no matter how damn good we think we are, these small organisms – too tiny for the eye to see – can and will mutate into new forms impervious to whatever we throw at them.
Immune to antibiotics, immune to vaccines, immune to anything any health spokesperson might say, no matter how good they look on television.
Time get real.
Because it’s not just the flu-jab that’s failed, it’s a lot of other meds besides. That have failed, or are going to fail, however we try to second-guess them.
Already there’s a whole slew of antibiotics that don’t work – vital drugs that could once save our lives from anything – now not even worth their weight in second-hand toffee paper.
For instance penicillin, the original wonder cure, was discovered in 1928, but resistant staph started emerging in 1940. Same story with erythromycin, launched in 1953 – with resistant strep occurring in 1968. Or methicillin, launched in 1960 with the dreaded tyrannosaurus rex MRSA rearing its head from 1962.
Bacteria have plenty of time, they can wait.
Which means we’re possibly only months away from total antibiotics failure altogether – slightly more significant than a flu-jab that doesn’t work.
But don’t take our word for it, no less a person than Dr Dame Sally Davies, England’s Chief Medical Officer, identifies it as a threat on par with terrorism. Absolutely vital.
Microbial exit strategy
OK, so the flu-jab is a flop. Yet it shows us an out, even though it’s useless.
Because if we know the flu is coming but we have no defence, we still ought to be smart enough to avoid it. Same with any other bug, come to that – norovirus, Black Death, typhoid, Ebola.
AVOID, AVOID, AVOID. Vital self-protection.
Step One, wash hands – before and after any activity. Our fingers touch everything, often in quick succession – from filthy public loo because it’s an emergency – to Welsh Wagyu burger with onions and extra Stilton – because use a knife and fork and it will fall apart. How do you think norovirus happens?
Step Two, get rid of the germs around us. They’re always there, billions and billions of them – on every surface, in the air – we’re continually exposed, all the time.
But not if the place is sterilised. Not if the rooms we live in are sterilised free from germs before we enter. No viruses, no bacteria – zero opportunity for infection or disease.
All it takes is forty-odd minutes with a Hypersteriliser the night before. Misting up offices, classrooms, restaurants, waiting areas – everywhere with super-dry ionised hydrogen peroxide. Electrostatically charged to reach into every crack and crevice, actively grabbing at germs and destroying their cell structure.
Safe and secure
No germs, no problem, problem solved.
Which works for flu as well as any other bugs that might threaten us. No need for the jab, we’re safe.
We just have to wake up first.
Rediscover hygiene, or take our chances.
Picture Copyright: svetography / 123RF Stock Photo