Tag Archives: vaccines

There’s Some Glitch?

15 Oct

What is happening with WordPress right now?  I keep trying to write a new post,and it keeps freezing and making my cursor invisible, then I can do nothing on the page.  No other tab is acting up, it’s just this site.  I reloaded the page and it did the same thing.

Anyway, I took my big exam this morning.  I studied really hard for it, and felt like I knew everything we covered in class.  I knew my big probably would be reading the questions carefully, answering all the parts of each questions, and not accidently writing a wrong term or direction or some easy error.  The test felt very easy.  I think the prof tries to make different levels of questions:  Easy, intermediate, and advanced.  Except, I feel like the easy and intermediate ones are hand-fed to us.  So that whether you studied or not you could ascertain the answer from hints given, reading other test questions, or other tactics.  And then, the advanced questions are things she wants us to extrapoloate from information given in class–read things not explicitly taught.  So I go in to the test hoping to recall everything on the notes and in the readins, so I have some wiggle room on things I’ve never encountered in my life.  And the advanced questions are fine, but I think she needs to make the medium questions harder, because it’s not right that someone who didn’t study can get the same grade as me (who put a lot of effort into the class).   I guessed wrong on a 4 point(!) hydrocephaly (never mentioned) short answer.  I said meninges were the structure, when I should have guessed ventricles.  So it’s an automatic 93%.  And after all my studying (and an EASY test), I’m not super-happy with that. . .

On a slightly different topic–well, still the brain we got tickets to the snowboard swap.  It will be most practical buying snowboards and boots here, then using them in Salt Lake, Colorado, or Tahoe ie big, expensive, world-renowned snow-sport locations.  And I’m a big believer they need to increase helmet usage here, so I guess I’m putting together a group to talk about traumatic brain injury and the importance of helmets.  I’m not sure how I because the leader on it other then we’re going and I see a need and think it’s important.  But I suppose since I’m suggesting we go, I ought to volunteer some time too.  We’ll see how it goes–I e-mailed the people putting on the event as well as my classmates.  I don’t have high-hopes for a response.  But if anyone follows up, it will be a useful thing.

I started watching “Desperate Housewives” on Netflix, just while Cool is at work–we watch “Criminal Minds” but only together.  You see, I like to watch something when I eat.  Anyway, it’s kind of a soapy, kind of a drama/comedy.  What I already don’t like is the men on the show.  Total tool-bags!  Carlos thinks he owns Gabby, and is a total Momma’s boy, always taking her side over his wife.  The poor twins’ mom who is obviously overwhelmed, was made to give up her (more successful) career, is saddled with 99% of the household/kid responsibility, and her dope-husband does things like invite over company for a formal dinner without telling her, and with only 2 days notice.  Bri’s husband doesn’t appreciate anything she does for him, is always putting her down and griping, and is cheating.  I’m not impressed with how the writers have the women treated on this show.  Like they just have to put up with all this crap, and it’s normal.  I say these capable, beautiful, smart women could do a lot better then these jerks!  Plus, I’m never a big fan of obvious eating disorders for a whole cast–when they are role models for women.

I got a flu shot last Thursday.  Which I never have before, and have always railed against.  I NEVER get the flu.  If I get sick at all (which I haven’t since 2008) I get a head-cold.  Anyway, because I’m in closed-air, close quarters with so many people, and tons of kids–cleaning, at ground zero–I decided to this year.  My school did them for free last Thursday.  The site was a little tender that night, but I used it–to sort of work it through.  By that night, it felt just fine.  And I thought I did too.  Friday I was tired.  Saturday I felt crummy.  Like muscle soreness, but deep, deep inside.  And it was exhausting to even walk to the kitchen.  I couldn’t have stood on my feet all afternoon/night, let alone complete vigorous locker room cleaning–I had to call in sick to work!  Which also rarely happens.  Maybe I had a vaccine reaction?  Because I’m so new, I don’t have any sick time accrued, but my boss let me “trade.”  So I have to make up 8 hours sometime.  Being a worrier, I want to get that done sooner, rather then later, so I’m working tonight.  I already have to go for a child abuse prevention training, so I figure I might as well.  Besides, there’s never a better time then after an exam and before we get new material.  Those are my free-est, most stress-free times.  But it does mean I will have to be at work (until midnight) 4 days in a row, which as a morning person just might kill me.

If I’m alive I’ll write after the streak is over.

Rabies–from organ donations

28 Jun

As if people who need an organ in the first place didn’t already have enough problems, right?

I wouldn’t worry for myself since 1) I do not need an organ (yet) and 2) I’m vaccinated for rabies.  True story.  Thanks, Saint George Veterinary School–this is probably the only good thing to come out of that terrible situation.

Getting vaccinated was a requirment for me to even get on the island, but it wasn’t easy.  Mizzou vet school gives all their vet students the vaccine as part of their tuition.  Since I wasn’t admitted to THEIR program, they didn’t want to share.  I think there was a rabies vaccine shortage in 2008-2009 when I was trying to get it.  So I had to jump through a lot of hoops.  The vaccine itself requires 2 boosters a certain amount of weeks apart (2 weeks each?).  So getting all of it to work out with my woerk schedule also took some doing.  The worst part was EACH shot (x3) was $250.  Out of MY pocket.  The school required it, but did not pay for it, or even offer it.

So long story short, I’m vaccinated against rabies.

Straight from the CDC:

The organ donor was an Arkansas man who visited two Texas hospitals with severe mental status changes and a low-grade fever, according to the MMWR. Neurologic imaging revealed brain hemorrhaging that later caused the man’s death. He was screened according to local organ donation regulations and passed. Rabies testing is not a part of routine organ donation screening.

The donor’s lungs were transplanted into a person at an Alabama hospital who died of complications during the operation. The donor’s liver and kidneys were transplanted into three recipients at Baylor University Medical Center on May 4. Between 21 and 27 days after the transplant, all three recipients developed neurologic symptoms, and later died.

Physicians from Baylor said that it is not uncommon for transplant recipients to experience neurologic symptoms as a result of blood flow problems, medication, or infection. But because the exact causes of death for the three recipients were not identified, specimens were sent to the CDC for diagnostic testing.

Testing by the CDC confirmed the rabies diagnoses, and found a strain of rabies common in bats that live in the area where the donor lived.

After receiving those results, officials at Baylor initiated an investigation to determine whether any other patients had received organs or tissues from the rabies infected donor, said Dr. William Sutker, the chief of infectious disease, during a press conference. Through that investigation, Baylor officials discovered that the fourth patient received a liver from another donor and part of an artery from the rabies-infected donor around the same time as the other three patients. Dr. Sutker said the patient died around the same time as the other patients.

Transmission of the rabies virus during an animal organ transplant is far less likely, Dr. Rupprecht said, because the organs come from a controlled population.

“It’s the one situation where the control measures in veterinary medicine may be tighter than those in human medicine,” he said.

Though it would be impossible to screen human organ donors for all possible diseases, officials from the CDC say the benefits of organ transplantation far outweigh the potential risks. Daniel Hayes, an organ transplant expert at the United Network for Organ Sharing, explained during a CDC teleconference that, though there are an estimated 40,000 cornea transplants in the United States each year, only one case of rabies transmission has been reported. Last year, there were more than 25,000 organ transplants and no reported cases of rabies transmission, he said.

“So, I don’t think that such a rare event should trigger any kind of widespread panic or reaction to do testing for a disease that is so infrequent,” Dr. Hayes said.

On average, there are one to three human cases of rabies in the United States each year, Dr. Rupprecht said. He attributes the low number of cases to the work of veterinarians, public health professionals, and professionals in emergency rooms, and to the biologics available.

And in an effort not to write lazy posts, more links so you don’t have to do any extra typing:

http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm5326a6.htm

http://articles.cnn.com/2004-07-01/health/rabies.organ.transplant_1_organ-donor-rabies-spread-rabies-tests?_s=PM:HEALTH

Whoa.  Thanks to my boss for sharing this news with me.

Why Are Rabies Vaccines Necessary?

18 Jan

My cat never goes outside. . .

This is a very common question from pet owners.  And aside from saying it’s a federally regulated vaccine, and it helps protect people from rabies, I never have much to say.

And the big vaccine controversy doesn’t help.  (Uneducated) people automatically hate vaccines and implicate them for causing autism, cancer, and other horrible and (untrue and/or uncommon) reactions.

I guess we should be thankful.  Thankful that vaccines have worked so well, that nobody in the last 2-3 generations has been sick with measles, mumps, rubella, polio, or even chicken pox.  Because we have not experienced the ill-effects of these diseases which we have been routinly vaccinated for, we take the vaccine itself for granted.  But that leaves us at risk again to get the diseases themselves.

When these nay-sayers won’t even innoculate their children, I feel there’s little I can tell them to make them vaccinate their pet.  Mostly I just offer expensive titers ($250 after mark up from IDEXX) as a compromise.  And you’d be surprised how many people (especially from Seattle) are willing to pay it.

I suggest watching the Frontline documentary “Vaccine Wars” to get a true idea of the whole vaccine debacle.  It delves into the situation much better than I could in one blog post.  Here’s some stats on the rabies disease:

Animals identified with rabies in 2010: 2,246 raccoons (36.5%), 1,448 skunks (23.5%), 1,430 bats (23.2%), 429 foxes (6.9%), 303 cats (4.9%), 71 cattle (1.1 %), and 69 dogs (1.1 %). Compared with 2009, number of reported rabid animals decreased across all animal types with the exception of a 1 % increase in the number of reported rabid cats.  Per JAVMA Sept 2011

After that–well, it’s just the lawful thing to do.  And not that expensive.