By Rick Oltman, May 9, 2019
There have recently been a spate of stories in social media about “medieval diseases are making a comeback,” calling the situation a “Public Health Crisis.”
Measles is in the news with several hundred cases now active in the country.
The state of Washington has experienced Shigella bacterial infections, which is spread through feces and Bartonella quintana, which spreads through body lice and was known as trench fever in World War I. We should rename it “Street Fever.”
The Los Angeles Police Department just issued a statement about the infection of three officers with Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) from dealing with the homeless living in squalid conditions. And in his California State of the State Address in February, Governor Gavin Newsome expressed concern about a Hepatitis-A outbreak in San Diego, a syphilis outbreak in Sonoma County, and Typhus in Los Angeles. He called Typhus a “Medieval disease.”
Certainly Typhus was wide spread in the Middle Ages (the 5th to the 15th century). It devastated Napoleon’s Grande Armée in the 19th century when they invaded Russia in 1812. But it was also very active in the early 20th century. It was very prevalent following the outbreak of World War I and was one of the early disasters to follow the Bolshevik Revolution in 1917; a Typhus infection rate that led to a steep rise in deaths.
But the current disease outbreak is all home-grown stuff. America is a First World country and we are seeing the spread of infectious diseases that threaten our citizens.
Consider the added risk of hundreds of thousands of illegal aliens entering from all over the world every year, carrying infectious diseases that further endangers our citizens and drains money and resources from our health care delivery system.
Ellis Island in New York Bay was an inspection station for over 12 million immigrants from 1892 to 1954. In the days before antibiotics, inspecting people for infectious diseases was absolutely necessary. Angel Island in San Francisco Bay was a quarantine station in 1891 specifically looking for Bubonic Plague coming from Asia, and from 1910 to 1940 it served as an immigration processing station.
Last December, USA Today reported: Hundreds of migrants and their children seeking to enter the U.S. from Mexico are arriving with illnesses, forcing U.S. Customs and Border Protection to seek additional medical assistance and boost medical screenings … .
One thing we must keep in mind is that while most American citizens have been vaccinated against diseases, many of those vaccinations no longer protect us. The vaccinations that the Baby Boomers got for childhood diseases worked so well that the diseases were “eliminated.”
Vaccinations work by creating a small amount of the antibody that fights the disease in your blood. Then when you are re-exposed to that disease, your blood is ready to fight it and creates more antibodies.
However, even though your body continues making antibodies for a couple of weeks after vaccination, over time, the antibodies will gradually disappear.
As decades have passed since so many diseases were “eliminated,” our immune systems have been deprived of the essential re-exposure, and as a result of the “elimination of diseases,” the antibodies in our blood have gradually “disappeared.”
Add intercontinental air travel and open borders to antibiotic resistant bacteria (ex. XDR-TB, Extra Drug Resistant Tuberculosis) and here is a recipe for a healthcare disaster in our country.
You have enemies? Good. That means you’ve stood up for something, sometime in your life.[Winston Churchill.]
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