Discussions about healthcare often involve the expression "continuum of care." Why is this description becoming more common? What can we learn about the state of healthcare today by unpacking this term? Today's post will explore what is meant by this popular phrase.
A recent federal report and subsequent media coverage has revealed an urgent gap in the supply chain for the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine: lipid nanoparticles. Learning about this critical component is an excellent way to learn more about how the mRNA vaccine created by Pfizer and Moderna work. In today's post, we'll look at this important ingredient and steps being taken to make sure production is ramped up.
Resistance - antibiotic or otherwise - is a game of survival of the fittest. Bacteria strains can be killed by an antibiotic that targets a specific cell mechanism, until a particular bacteria mutates into a strain that is able to survive. Such is the case with MRSA, a strain of Staphylococcus aureus that cannot be killed by methicillin-class antibiotics. But how about resistance to silver and copper as biocides? It turns out that every cell's need for copper makes this metal far, far less likely to cause resistance.
As national numbers of COVID vaccinations continue to climb, many of us are wondering when we can finally shed the mask and abandon social distancing. While the vaccine means that returning to normal closer than even, there are three reasons why we have to continue to wear masks, maintain social distancing, and keep washing hands and surfaces for the time being.
Our bodies are incredible feats of balance, or in biological terms, homeostasis. Completely independent of our conscious minds, our cells are taking in nutrients, reproducing, building proteins, assembling enzymes, all to regulate our organs and systems. Most of the work our bodies perform just needs caloric intake. All the building blocks are there, our systems just need energy. But some of those processes require additional elements that we must ingest specifically for that purpose. These non-organic micronutrients are a variety of metals, since metals' ability to oxidize helps catalyze important biological reactions. But our bodies are not built to tolerate all metals. Some metals can even be toxic. Today we'll explore the relative safety of copper and silver in terms of toxicity to humans.
The sheer number of people who need to get vaccinated and the logistics involved in making that happen has led to frustration and confusion. Some states appear to be doing well, while others are floundering. In many ways, we are building a plane while flying it through the air, subject to turbulence, storms, and surprises along the way. In today's post, we'll look at the three key elements of vaccine roll-out: Identification, Notification, and Vaccination.
We were making progress against an emergent pathogen long before the newest novel pathogen brought everything to a standstill. Starting a decade ago, health care facilities identified a new superbug, a variant of the Candida Auris species of fungus that was lethal and pernicious. Through careful screening and cleaning protocols, we were beginning to see progress in the spread of this pathogen, but then COVID-19 hit. With all our attention on preventing and treating this novel coronavirus, this fungus has been among us, spreading opportunistically through nursing homes and intensive care units. How can we eject this fungus, once and for all?
Today's post covers a vital comparison between copper and silver: Their ability to kill harmful bacteria. Biocidal activity - the active destruction of microorganisms at the cellular level - is the fundamental criteria when considering the two metals as possible infection interventions. We will explore under what conditions these metals kill bacteria in both laboratory and real-life settings.
Since mankind began using metals, both silver and copper have been used to keep mildew, mold, fungi, and other spoilage at bay. Both metals were even known by the ancients to have anti-infection benefits. We know today that both silver and copper have biocidal properties, and as a result, numerous products have appeared on the marketplace touting these properties as effective in the fight against hospital-acquired infections. Which is the better choice for use in healthcare facilities? To answer this question, we will compare the two metals across 6 criteria over the coming weeks.
With a Presidential Inauguration taking place in the midst of a global pandemic, we have the opportunity to look at how past president's have dealt with pathogen outbreaks. Pre-antibiotic presidents faced illnesses in their personal lives alongside their fellow Americans, often with tragic results. Once vaccines were available, presidents often took leading roles to promote their use, both through public statements and through policy. But it was the very first president who actually took first-hand steps to stop an epidemic, steps that may have allowed for the very birth of our nation.