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Swine flu
Posted: 30 April 2009 10:31 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 16 ]
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I agree with caution.  I wash my hands, use Purell when I can’t, but I did that when my father-in-law was dying of Alzheimers here at home, and my husband had a major heart attack.

We haven’t had any reported incidents in Alaska yet, but we are a very “fly around” population - it’s only a matter of time. 

I don’t seriously think this is like the 1918 Pandemic - and the longer it goes on, the weaker it seems to get.  I think it’s a panic generated by the news media - sell them papers!

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Posted: 01 May 2009 10:58 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 17 ]
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Someone stole my Purell bottle off my desk - and my can of Lysol out of my cabinet in my cube. (They took pens too, the little stinkers. I’m going to start locking it again. Unbelievable!) Granted I didn’t use it that often, but like today, my boss sneezed all over the marketing proposal I just handed to him. He kind of turned his head, but not much. He took it back into his office, and he’s going to mark it up with edits and hand it back. Gross. I want my Purell back. I know he doesn’t have the flu but still, it’s disgusting and it skeeves me.

By the way, at Target last night I went to the handsoap aisle and noticed it turned upside down as if it had been robbed. All hand santizers were sold out, and anti-bacterial soaps like Dial brand were running low. I got my Method cucumber scented handsoap that I like, and high-tailed it out of that madhouse!

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Posted: 01 May 2009 12:31 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 18 ]
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Jules - 01 May 2009 10:58 AM

All hand santizers were sold out, and anti-bacterial soaps like Dial brand were running low.

How do hand sanitizers kill the virus if the viruses are not alive to begin with? And antibacterial soaps are, well, antibacterial, not antiviral.

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Posted: 01 May 2009 01:21 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 19 ]
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George that is funny. True, anti-bacterial soaps sold in supermarkets would not do much. You’d need that super anti-microbial/anti-virus handsoap hospitals use - Asanta will know what I’m talking about! The horrible orange staining soap you have to scrub with for two minutes. It leaves your hands cracked from dryness if you use it more than a few times without putting lotion on your hands afterward.

I say, soap is soap. Scrub well and rise well, and the germs go down the drain. What they do in the drain afterward is their business. No point in dousing them with chemicals they are probably getting resistant to.

(Of course if you’re scrubbing for surgery you probably need that terrible orange soap. Otherwise for average people, I think it’s just pointless.)

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Some people can read War and Peace and come away thinking it’s a simple adventure story. Others can read the ingredients on a chewing gum wrapper and unlock the secrets of the universe.    - Lex Luthor

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Posted: 01 May 2009 01:43 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 20 ]
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Nevertheless, the hand sanitizers supposedly do work. I just don’t understand how…

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Posted: 01 May 2009 01:47 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 21 ]
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Well, you see the viruses are like little zombies. Not alive but not dead. The hand sanitizer lops off their heads.  cheese

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Some people can read War and Peace and come away thinking it’s a simple adventure story. Others can read the ingredients on a chewing gum wrapper and unlock the secrets of the universe.    - Lex Luthor

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Posted: 01 May 2009 02:55 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 22 ]
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Anti-bacterial soaps are good for absolutely nothing except making money for those who sell them! If you kill 99.9% of the bacteria—what’s left are the super bugs that were being controlled by the benign or useful bugs. Plain old soap and water, washing to the tune of ‘Happy Birthday to you’ will ensure you ‘lavase’ long enough! The difference between Purell and anti-bacterial soap is like the difference between stepping on a bug and spraying it with insecticide. They can become immune to the spray, but will never mutate enough that a good stomp won’t be effective! Purell is the equivalent of stepping on the the bug—viral or bacterial. Yes, we have found some bacteria that live in alcohol (the primary ingredient), but none to my knowledge have caused disease.

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Posted: 01 May 2009 05:52 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 23 ]
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The way germicidals usually work is that the compounds are chemically fairly reactive.  The orange ones usually have a derivative of phenol (old fashioned Lysol) in them.  This reacts with groups on or in the germ (not differentiating between bacteria and viruses), screwing up their metabolism and inactivating them.  However, as Asanta points out, some bugs have figured out how to block the reactions so they are the ones that remain alive after you’ve used the material.  Two of the best germicides are bleach and formaldehyde.  They tear the hell out of all protein.  Unfortunately, they also do that to one’s skin.  Formaldehyde kills everything, and while it’s doing that it’s also mummifying or embalming your skin.  You can forget about it being carcinogenic because that won’t be a problem until after the H1N1 flu worries are past.  LOL

Occam

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Posted: 01 May 2009 07:16 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 24 ]
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Yes, I just use alcohols and bleach, but I leave the formaldehyde alone! smile It’s a lot cheaper too. I am also not paranoid about germs. I just use common sense. I sterilize my cutting boards. I have 2 in the kitchen, one for veggies and one for raw meats and never shall the two meet! I scrub my kitchen, but I’m not paranoid about the rest of the house, including the bathroom. I just use common sense there too, my favorite show Mythbusters has already shown that toilets are not as dirty as the TV commercials would have you think!

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Posted: 01 May 2009 07:40 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 25 ]
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The bug in this new near-pandemic appears to be less virulent than the plain old seasonal flu virus. But cable news needs some stories to justify it’s existence…

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Posted: 01 May 2009 08:22 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 26 ]
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asanta - 01 May 2009 07:16 PM

...my favorite show Mythbusters has already shown that toilets are not as dirty as the TV commercials would have you think!

They can show me hundreds of cultures and slides that prove toilets are not so ‘germy’ but I still have trouble coming to terms with that. I cannot get over the poop factor! Poop happens in there, so it’s a dirty place...  LOL

Probably has to do with being raised by a germ freak. My mother used to carry a giant can of Lysol in her purse when we were kids. She sprayed public toilet seats with it until they were saturated before we could use them. I’m surprised I didn’t get chemical burns on my ass as a kid! She would get upset when I’d take some toilet paper and wipe the Lysol off the seat. “It can’t kill the germs if you wipe it away!” she’d complain. And other kids thought their mothers were bad for putting some toilet paper on the seat before they sat down… wink

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Some people can read War and Peace and come away thinking it’s a simple adventure story. Others can read the ingredients on a chewing gum wrapper and unlock the secrets of the universe.    - Lex Luthor

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Posted: 01 May 2009 08:30 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 27 ]
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Jules - 01 May 2009 08:22 PM

They can show me hundreds of cultures and slides that prove toilets are not so ‘germy’ but I still have trouble coming to terms with that. I cannot get over the poop factor! Poop happens in there, so it’s a dirty place...  LOL

Probably has to do with being raised by a germ freak. My mother used to carry a giant can of Lysol in her purse when we were kids. She sprayed public toilet seats with it until they were saturated before we could use them. I’m surprised I didn’t get chemical burns on my ass as a kid! She would get upset when I’d take some toilet paper and wipe the Lysol off the seat. “It can’t kill the germs if you wipe it away!” she’d complain. And other kids thought their mothers were bad for putting some toilet paper on the seat before they sat down… wink

I could never understand the paranoia about the seat. I’m hitting it with my ass, which is far, far away from my mouth. If it looks clean, I assume it’s clean enough, if it doesn’t, I wipe it clean! I scrub my hands in the bathroom and if I’m away from home, especially if I will be eating, I use a towel to open the door on my way out…the end! I hope your mom focused on the handwashing aspect at least as much! I was horrified and disgusted at work one night when I was in a stall and heard an employee walk out of the bathroom without washing her hands! I did not see who it was, and often wondered!

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Posted: 02 May 2009 06:47 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 28 ]
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Oh she was a hand washing nut as well. So in addition to our Lysol-shellacked rear ends, our hands were scrubbed quite clean also. LOL I also open the door with the paper towel I dry my hands with. It’s already right there in my hand, so why not?

I got a laugh out of your very good point that our rears are quite far away from our mouths, so there is no reason to ‘fear the seat.’ Quite true! I just don’t know if I’ll ever get over the mental aspect of seat fear. Years of conditioned response!

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Some people can read War and Peace and come away thinking it’s a simple adventure story. Others can read the ingredients on a chewing gum wrapper and unlock the secrets of the universe.    - Lex Luthor

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Posted: 02 May 2009 10:47 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 29 ]
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The use of soaps and alcohol decrease infection rates through different mechanisms.

Plain soap (soap that has no antibacterial agents added) works primarily by removing microbes from surfaces. Soaps are particularly good at removing grease and oils from surfaces because they have both a hydrophilic and lipophilic end on the same molecule. They act as an “adapter” of sorts which allows hydrophobic grease and oil molecules which normally don’t mix with water to be suspended in solution and therefor lifted from the surface more easily and washed away carrying microbe with it. Soaps also work because they cause us to spend more time massaging the surface of the skin which frees up contaminants so they can be washed away. Antibacterial soaps usually have an agent such as Triclosan in them which works by inhibiting certain proteins and enzymes that bacteria require. Antibacterial soaps have no effect on viruses ( other than the effect that all soaps have).

Alcohol works by a different mechanism than soap. Alcohol is a very effective protein denaturing agent. It destroys the three dimensional structure of many proteins rendering them unable to perform their normal function. Not all viruses are susceptible to the effects of alcohol however. HIV, HSV, Influenza, Hepatitis B&C viruses are all susceptible to alcohol but some viruses like Hepatitis A are not as easily destroyed by alcohol.

This is very helpful to understand when deciding which is the best method for disinfecting an individuals hands in a given setting. Hospital workers for example tend to transmit organisms that are very sensitive to alcohol. Hospital workers also have relatively low levels of dirt and grease on their hands to begin with. For this reason alcohol based gels are considered to be effective disinfectants in the hospital ( non-OR)setting. Alcohol gels are not adequate for food service workers for several reasons. The organisms that are transmitted by food service workers ( Hepatitis A, protozoans) are not particularly sensitive to alcohol. In addition food service workers tend to have much higher levels of grease and oil on their hands which can limit the effectiveness of alcohol. For that reason food service workers really need to wash with soap and water.

Hope that helps.

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Posted: 02 May 2009 11:37 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 30 ]
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Interesting information. Thanks, macgyver.

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