Hosted by Minerva A. Garcia, MLS, MT (ASCP), MS
1)Welcome all, to my show “Meet Minerva, the Microbiologist”.
My name is Minerva A. Garcia
I am currently the Associate Director Microbiology at Jacobi Med. Center, NYC Health & Hospitals Corp.
I am your Microbiologist now again, Microbiology with the microbes welcomes you in and so does poetry, with creative lines.
In today’s show, I’ll be talking aboutthe following topics
1. Summer Microbes
2. CoVid-19/Variant Strains Update: National & International News
So…. There it…. Goes an Analogy of a poem discussion:
Summer story, create a scenery. Children playing, giggling, riding bikes, and playing on the beach. Eating hot dogs and ice cream. That’s the scene that I want you to have in mind for this summer. SAR-COV-2 vaccinations on its way to making NYC close to normalcy. That’s a WOW!
All of us vaccinated, wow. That’s a wow, again. We can start to feel relaxed in some way compared to when we started back in March 2020. We can now start to enjoy the beautiful flowers. The endless warmth of the sun. The tenderness of the summer as we experience the warmth on our skin. We think of our feet in the water at the beach as we get soaked. We can stand outside with family and friends and enjoy BBQS. We can hangout wearing our favorite ripped jeans. We can eat hot dogs, hamburgers, and French fries… all outside. This also means our favorite treats like Ralph’s Ice Cream on Staten Island. Flavors such as chocolate, coconut, and so many more. My favorite being cherry and crème latte. How can we forget the ice cream? My favorite, like rum raisin and strawberries etc. With pictures of cars driving in our cities we can hear noises everywhere. Where we can hear people from all walks of life having fun in NYC. I had the chance this weekend to come together with friends and enjoy the Vincent Van Gogh Immersive Experience at 290 South Street by FDR. I was able to sit and relax. Then, we walked around the city and enjoyed dinner. We had free posters from the exhibit. I plan to hang it in my office. That’s a WOW! I took time to enjoy myself and my family and friends. There’s an endless beauty and its colors to be seen. There’s a reason to hope and move on as a nation as restrictions are being lifted. That’s a WOW again. We can also feel free again. But, don’t miss out! Make sure you all get vaccinated to join the summer, increase health, and security. That’s a wow again.
An analogy of a poem. Ice cream in the sun. Let’s play it smart. With this in mind, the poetry comes in. Id like to bring you all into my world of microbiology where microbes are discussed and poetry expressed. In support of everyone trying to see a better world, join a cooperative effort for love and peace. Hope you can all join this club of happiness with the beautiful sunflowers and all that summer has to offer. Now, I’d like to bring you this poem entitled “Ice Cream in the Sun”.
Ice Cream in the Sun
|Music melts my heart Like ice cream in the sun|
The soul feels all absorbed By the musical listening of my responsive heart As touch breathe by my skies-
I can’t reach any diamond within my grasp For all my mind wants to do Is listen to soft melodies As gently puts me to sleep
As I awake, I want more music for my ears So, I can soothe them day and night Pleasantly a sound without any quarrels
Summer story scenery. What is summer? Lets picture a perfect summer with all the greenery scenes we can all see. We can all see the enjoyment in the eyes of children who are playing, giggling, riding bikes, and playing on the beach. Eating hot dogs and ice cream. We can also see how we can enjoy BBQS with family and friends, but watch out for bacteria. If you do not cook your food long enough, such as Salmonella, E. coli, Shigella campylobacter, vibrio, Giardia lamblia, Taenia solium. These are infections that you get when you do not heat the food enough. So, make sure that this summer you do not get bacteria which I’m titling it “Summer Bacteria”.
So, E. coli is one of them. Campylobacter is another one. So, you can get these by uncooked meat, fresh vegetables not being washed or cleaned, sharing utensils with raw meat. Symptoms include bloody diarrhea, stomach cramps, pain, nausea, vomiting. If you have a fever, you need antibiotics. Eating uncooked poultry, meat, or eggs, or cross-contamination of food such as the same cutting board and utensils. These are all common ways to be infected. Even one drop of juice from raw poultry or meat can have enough campylobacter in it to infect the person. These symptoms usually start 2-5 days after the person ingests campylobacter and lasts about a week. How do you treat it? Well, you must be treated with antibiotic. So, you have to see your clinician, your doctor, or go to a hospital. Especially if you experience high fever. That’s critical information to know. The antibiotics is usually going to be a fluoroquinolone. For example, ciprofloxacin or a macrolide such as azithromycin.
Food recommended to eat when diagnosed with this disease. Clear broth, especially bone broth, low sugar oatmeal, plain potatoes, salted crackers and baked chickens.
Salmonella is usually involved in eggs and also fresh fruits. The illness lasts for about 4 to 7 days after ingested contaminated food. Age groups is adults older than 65 years old and children. Immunocompromised/immunosuppressed immune systems. Symptoms include diarrhea, vomiting, cramps. It can also be involved with sexual and asexual. Meaning outside and inside. So, for example the vegetables or salads are not clean this could be outside. Sexual. Asexual would be inside, for example, eggs. For prevention, keep eggs refrigerated at about 40 degrees F or 4 degrees C. Discard any cracked or dirty eggs. Cook eggs until the broth and the yoke are white and firm.
Malicious mosquitoes–These are a nuisance, especially in the summer. These include Dengue Fever, Japanese encephalitis, Zika virus, West Nile virus, Chikungunya virus, etc.
Dengue fever- is tropical and subtropical. It occurs in South East Asia, Western Pacific Island, Latin America, Caribbean and Africa. Mild infection to high fever and flu-like symptoms. Extreme infection to Dengue Fever includes Dengue Hemorrhagic Fever, serious bleeding, a sudden drop in blood pressure, shock, and death. So, this is very serious. Millions of cases occur each year.
Japanese Encephalitis- usually occurs in Asia and the Western Pacific. The symptoms include fever headaches and vomiting. Get vaccinated if you are moving to an area where Japanese Encephalitis lives, spending a month or more in an area with Japanese Encephalitis, frequently travel to the area.
West Nile Virus– Leading cause of mosquito borne disease in the United States. These are usually summer to fall. Most people to not develop symptoms. Usually 1:5 develop fever and 1:50 develop severe symptoms with high fever, headaches, stiff neck, blurred or loss of vision, numbness, and paralysis.
Zika Virus– Causes by Aedes mosquito. Zika can be passed from a pregnant woman to her fetus. Infections during pregnancy can cause birth defects. There is no vaccine or medicine for Zika. Few or no symptoms occur. Diagnosed through blood or urine testing.
Chikungunya virus– causes fever and severe joint pain. Other symptoms include muscle pain, joint swelling, headaches, nausea, fatigue, and rash. Occurs in Africa, Asia, and the Caribbean’s. There is no vaccine or specific drug against the virus.
Prevent mosquito bites, how do you prevent it?
Stay in air conditions or well screened home. Where protective clothing. Use mosquito repellent. Reduce habitat. Also, make sure you use cloth that covers your skin. For example, long sleeve or pants.
Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever- The bite of an infected tick. Symptoms include fever, headaches, rash, and can be deadly if untreated. Spread by American Dog tick called Dermacentor variabilis and the Brown Dog tick called Rhipicephalus sanguineus. Treatment is doxycycline as the recommended antibiotic. Treatment for RMSF for adult and children of all ages.
Lyme Disease– also known as ticks. Caused by the bacteria Borrelia burgdorferi. The symptoms include fever, headache, fatigue, and a characteristic skin rash called erythema migrans. If left untreated, the infections can spread to the joints, the heart, and the nervous system. The treatment is doxycycline, amoxicillin, and cefuroxime.
Preventing tick bites– Ticks live in grassy, wooded areas, or even on animals. Treat clothing and gear with products containing .5 percent permethrin. Use environmental protection agency (EPA) registered insect repellent contain DEET. Tumble dry clothes in the dryer on high heat for ten minutes. Shower immediately, tick check, check behind your ears.
Ticks usually occur in many areas of your body. Around your ears, your hair, the arms, the belly button, the legs, the waist, and behind the knees. Make sure that you check thoroughly. Make sure you don’t have any on your clothes. And, if you do have any children and you experience that they have a tick… make sure you bring the tick to your physician so they can send it to a laboratory and it can be investigated through a microscope. It can be properly identified. That’s important.
In fresh waters you will find a bacterium called Naegleria fowleri. This is a serious brain eating amoeba. It can enter the body through the nose where it enters into the brain. Causes primary amebic encephalitis. You can not get infected by swallowing water contaminated with this bacterium. Avoid dipping your head underwater in warm fresh water river or lakes. Can be diagnosed through spinal fluid or biopsy tissue specimen.
Fully vaccinated person has received all required doses of a vaccine,
Example has received two doses. Meaning they have completed the process of vaccination for COVID-19.
So, a striking division between continents. Africa has to lowest vaccination rate of any continent. The US is moving fast with vaccination, which is great news.
Delta, is predominant variant circulation of Covid-19. Indian variant (Delta), now Britain, USA and other parts of the world.
EXCITING NEWS & PERSONAL NEWS:
A shout out, goes out to my beautiful Executive Producer Mary Lou, who has made this podcast possible.
Now, I conclude this show from the microbial world. Thank you for having me. To my lovely audience, thank you for tuning in and listening. This is Minerva A. Garcia, your Microbiologist
The views and opinions expressed in this podcast are solely my own and my guests, and not of any institutions or corporations. Thank you.
Minerva A. Garcia, is an Associate Director Microbiology at Jacobi Medical Center in NYC. She has published three papers in major reputable journals has has presented more than 10 abstracts via poster presenations included Harvard Medical School New Research Building sponsored by Society of Biomolecular Imaging and Infomatics Second Annual Conference among many others. Currently, thesis publication “Evaluation of Vancomycin MICs for the Treatment of MRSA in Bacteremia”. She has been involved with American Society of Microbiology national and regional for more than thirty years.
Minerva is also a poet. Her keen sense of her world as a scientist brings a fresh perspective to the relationship of microbes and how they change or world, and how she expresses her self with words. Her book Journey of a Rainbow can be found on Amazon.com