Friday, 21 March 2008

Friday 21 March

A superficially nice day, until you put your nose outside the door. A very cold northerly wind blows in occasional wintry showers, although not as heavy as last night. No ferry at all tonight; anyone wanting to leave or reach the island today has to travel through Harris and take a ferry to Uig in Skye.

A patient in hospital in Glasgow has been diagnosed with multiple-resistent tuberculosis. He arrived in the UK from Somalia, and was found to be suffering from the disease. This form of TB can only be treated with a cocktail of drugs, but the public are not at risk.
Generally, resistance to antibiotics has spiralled since their inception in the 1940s. It is a natural selection process, where bacteria who happen to have a genetic modification that allows them to survive antibiotics will proliferate. They are even capable of passing on the genetic information. Overuse of antibiotics (like for virus infections such as the common cold) has worsened the problem. TB is singularly difficult to treat, because the bug concerned has a chemical barrier around itself. For those versed in chemistry, its fatty acids run a length of 80 carbon atoms.


  1. Intermittent sunshine here Guido but with very strong winds.  Last night we have what you could only call a mini tornado, it was quite scarcy the fifteen minutes it lasted.  Yes, I read about that man with the TB.  Frightening.

  2. It has been dry and sunny although cold and windy for our Good Friday march of witness and service.  I have also yet to see a hot cross bun.
    Jenny <><

  3. I couldn't agree more with your first felt as though it were the middle of winter this morning while taking care of the animals. :(   TB is scary...if I recall, this was what caused such an international rumpus with the man who travelled to his wedding while diagnosed with TB.  Wonder what ever happened to him, the story just went away.

  4. Is the patient in Isolation??  Why is the public NOT at risk??  That's really scary.  It really bothers me when people run to the dr for antibiotics for just a cold that will go away on it's own.... if it's worse, and develops INTO something more, that's different.  But I've had co-workers DEMAND antibiotics for a simple cold when the dr has advised against it.  


  5. Our doctors surgery felt it necessary to put a notice up on the reception desk informing patients that antibiotics would not be handed out unless there was a warranty for them.  I guess a lot of people must have been demanding them for everything and anything.
    It took me months to get rid of MRSA in my ear.  Fortunately the strain was overwhelmed by double antibiotics throughout that time.  Its quite scary when bacteria build up a resistance to antibiotics.

    We have wintry showers this afternoon.  Its bitterly cold outside too.  
    Stay warm Guido. Don't poke your nose outside again.  Brrrr!

  6. TB itself is a frightening disease, I`m so grateful that we have been vaccinated against it, if only to minimise the risk.  The weather has been much better than forecast with no rain at all until 4pm, then it absolutely tipped down. I`m so pleased the weather held out because we had loads of customers in the garden centre.

    Love Sandra xx

  7. I know a lot of those who came from Viet Nam and such have arrived in the U.S. with TB.  I never minded having that yearly (during our birthday month) TB test all the years I worked at the hospital.  The scary one is the drug restistant one.  Several cases are dx in Washington each year.  I believe the over-use & mis-use of antibiotics will came back to bite us one day.  Linda in Washington state

  8. It's freezing here with hail and sleet and blowing a gale! Ugh, happy Easter! I've noticed since Andy has been given  prophylactic antibiotics for his sickle cell he's had so many chest infections; I wonder if it's wise to carry on with them. Jeannette xx  

  9. I wondered like Joann, i.e., how is it that the public isn't at risk.  Presumably due to precautions.  While it's nice when a drug CAN do a "couple day at most" fix of an otherwise bad illness, I wish more would comprehend that an antibiotic can only work against bacterial infections, NOT viral infections (or, say, allergies).

    If I ever get to travel your way, I think I'll pick a warmer month.  I know it's beautiful there now, but.

  10. i never go to the doc as you know.....and since i never go and am on no meds usually, they can give me basic antibiotics because i am not so overdosed with stuff that those meds will cure me. I have a friend who is on so many meds that she has almost come to the point where her doctors do not know what to give her because her body is resistent to all of it. Scary, huh?