Cape Town Bugs

March 25, 2018

Cape Town Bugs

Cape Town Bugs

March 14th, 2018 by docpaul

Its been a roller coaster summer in Cape Town…beautiful weather with little wind and less water. The reality is that this combination with food sources, chicken in particular, under pressure we are seeing an ugly rise in illness.
The viral season has started early …….
Para influenza has been around for a few weeks….with a snotty nose and croup to follow affecting the little people…beware the midnight bark and that is not braak!!
RSV the nasty virus that takes down small and vulnerable chests with a viral asthma and snot by the gallon is here early……Respiratory Sybcytial virus can be a killer in ex premature/cardiac or respiratorally compromised babies.
Coxsackie virus has had a fun start to 2018 with hand foot and mouth disease running riot through creches and play groups…so contagious and yet so variable in its affects.
But most importantly there has been a surge not just in the well publicised Liisteria Monocytogenes with various foods and manafacturers under the cosh, but also in a host of other bacterial gastro-enteritis bugs.
Campylobacter jejuni is rife with severe cramps, vomiting and bloody diarrheoa (dysentery)…….a tough bug to isolate and often under treated as poo cultures can take 3-4 days to show up this nasty and due to its strange cell wall equally difficult to treat with usual broad spectrum antibiotics.
Salmonella is too popping up in bloody stool samples….nto typhoid but one of its ugly cousins….chicken and eggs surely to blame for this form of food poisoning.
And finally last week as I thought i had seen it all in terms of nasty gut bugs I received 2 old but new friends….an Enteropathogenic E. coli and a Shigella Sonnei on 2 separate poo samples…..

I can only imagine the pressure in less affluent population groups where access to healthcare and stool culturing is limited…….my group of patients are a little more well off and am sure are not eating polony by the kilogram but rather plenty of chicken nuggets and schnitzel from upmarket grocery establishments.

Our guts, our lives and especially our tender childrens low acidity stomachs are being unfairly bombarded………and who or what is to blame.

Water or the lack there of for sure……boreholes…..well points….taps
Chicken and eggs…disease has lowered there production and pressure to supply must surely increase risks
Expensive life with 2 income families and little kids in creche out of necessity not choice……
I wish I had a magic political, economic and meteorologic wand to fix it all but sadly not……all i can advice is think before you drink….and that is water not alcohol and cook all your food too well…..rare may be trendy but its dangerous. Back Home




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