Streptococcal Pharyngitis – Strep Throat
Streptococcal Pharyngitis, that is also known as strep throat is a bacterial infection that is mainly caused by group A streptococcus. This is an infection that is at the back of the throat and infects the tonsils. Strep throat is generally transmitted by direct contact with the mucus or sores of someone else who has strep. Strep throat can spread by airborne respiratory droplets (coughs or sneezes) or by saliva (kissing or sharing drinks). Some common symptoms of strep throat may include a sore and scratchy throat, a fever, enlarged lymph nodes in the neck and red swollen tonsils. However, it could also lead to a headache, nausea and vomiting. Some people also experience pain when they are trying to swallow certain supplements that may be hard, tough and scratchy as the pain in the neck/throat may be very tender. This bacterial infection is targeted at the lungs, nose and throat, young children, older adults, pregnant women and most people that may have a chronic disease or a weak immune system are at high risk of catching streptococcal pharyngitis.
Streptococcal Pharyngitis is a bacterial infection that invades the body through transferred airborne saliva droplets, this could either be from a kiss, sneeze or cough or even by touching contaminated surfaces like a doorknob, which can then be transferred to your nose, mouth or eyes. Once the Streptococcus enters through the body, mouth nose or eyes the germs then attack the tissues of your throat and then they latch onto the cells which are the lining in the throat or tonsils which then reproduce. However certain areas of the throat could swell just like the tonsils do if this happens it means that it is a sign that your immune system is trying to fight the infection and the white blood cells are attacking the foreign bodies. This then creates inflammation which is characterised by redness, swelling, pain and general fever. Therefore as the bacteria grows, the pain in the throat will start to develop and then a fever will start which signals that your body is still fighting the infection.
There are many ways that humans can come in contact with this micro-organism, one way however that streptococcal pharyngitis can be spread is when a healthy person or people come in contact with someone else who has an extreme case of streptococcal pharyngitis. Humans like us can also be affected through normal everyday person to person transmission, this could include transmissions such as saliva, or nasal secretions that have come from an infective person. It has been said that humans are the main primary reservoir for group A strep, the reason for this is because there is no study/evidence to that show that pets can transmit the infection to humans.
Streptococcal Pharyngitis is treatable by a medical professional. The treatment for this bacterial infection is important to reduce complications. One way you can treat this infection is through oral antibiotics such as penicillin this is the most commonly used antibiotic. Other medicines such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen can help with pain and fever. Penicillin stops the growth it kills certain bacteria inside that infection. You can also use treatments such as self-care this could include things like throat lozenges which can help soothe the throat. To prevent yourself from getting strep throat is by washing your hands and to not share eating utensils. However, a major treatment that you can get if you have this bacterial infection (more than three a year) is called Tonsillectomy, this is a surgical procedure where they fully remove the infected tonsils at the back of the throat. Most people get this procedure which results in them having fewer less sore throats. These treatments can affect the life process of Streptococcal Pharyngitis because by having antibiotics it will fight against the bacterial infection and it will kill the spores of the living organism which will result in the bacterial infection from growing, reproducing and replicating
Influenza which is also known as the flu is a very common viral infection. Influenza infects the nose, throat and lungs and is normally worse than a cold. This infection is generally caught by airborne respiratory droplets (coughs and sneezes), skin to skin contact (hugs and handshakes), saliva (kissing or sharing drinks) and by touching a contaminated surface such as a doorknob. Some common symptoms of the flu include fever, chills, muscle aches, cough, congestion, runny nose and headaches. However, there are two main types of influenza (flu virus) which is type A and type B, both of these influenza viruses spread through most people who are affected and are generally responsible for seasonal flu epidemics each year. Influenza type A can be broken down into sub-types, the only reason why they can do this is that it all depends on the genes that then make up the surface proteins, which is then broken down into sub-types.
When influenza gets into the body by airborne droplets it then moves down and into the respiratory tract, once it is there it then attaches to the surface of the cells. Straight after this happens the virus then opens up and releases its genetic information (as seen in the picture) into the cell’s nucleus. After this cycle influenza reproduces by the virus replicating or copying itself which then allows it to take over in the functions of the cell. Influenza can then respire through airborne droplets such as sneezing or coughing, however, it has been said that a new case study shows that people who do have the flu can easily spread it with the air by just breathing it around which means that others around that infected person will potentially catch it. Influenza can also excrete but it hasn’t been said exactly how.
Humans can come into contact for influenza by person to person contact, most experts have noticed that the flu virus mainly spreads through the droplets whether the infected person coughs, sneezes or talks. When this happens those droplets can then land in the nose or mouth of the uninfected person who is nearby or they could possibly inhale it into the lungs, However a person may even get the flu from touching a surface that has this infection of flu virus on it and then touching their own mouth nose and even their ears aswell. Humans can also catch the influenza virus by virus-laden aerosols, these are a collection of pathogen-laden particles that are in the air which then results with the aerosol maybe being deposited onto or inhaled through the human’s respiratory tract.
Influenza known as the flu can be treated primarily with rest and fluids, this helps the body fight the infection on its own. However, sometimes the nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug which can help with the common symptoms, but can also relieve pain, reduce your fever and can decrease inflammation. Other treatments that can help influenza are self-care options which could include bed rest, reducing activities for a short period of time, throat lozenges which will help soothe the throat, cough medicines which will block the cough reflex. Depending on what medicine you use some could thin or loosen the mucus which would make it easier to then clear the airways. An annual vaccination could help prevent the flu and will limit its complications, therefore eliminating the effects of the life processes.
Bibliography – information is off the following sites
https://www.sahealth.sa.gov.au/wps/wcm/connect/public content/sa health internet/health topics/health conditions prevention and treatment/infectious diseases/streptococcal sore throat/streptococcal sore throat – including symptoms treatment and prevention
Genetic Testing and Gene Editing
From the link provided in Assignment Paper C information, I found an article titled “Ethics of Genetic Testing” by Margaret McLean. This article tells a story about a mother and daughter at a doctor’s office undergoing a test to determine if the daughter has the genetic mutation responsible for Huntington’s disease. From the results, the daughter hopes to make the decision on whether or not to have children of her own. I find this technology fascinating. Having the ability to make life decisions based on this technology could lead to a much healthier and stronger human race. For instance, knowing that you are a genetic carrier for breast cancer, you could decide not to have children and prevent the spread of this genetic trait. Furthermore, the discovery of these mutations wouldn’t have been possible without the study of the human genome sequence provided by the Human Genome Project, a study started in 1990 to map the complete set of genes for humans (McLean, 2015).
The first question I have pertaining to this research and technology is, if we could test ourselves for every known genetic diseases would we want to know our fates? For instance, if we have the technology to know whether or not we’ll end up with cancer, Parkinson’s disease, muscular dystrophy, etcetera, would we want to know? Would knowing only lead to depression and diminished happiness. This question is critically important because if we are not willing to put this research to use, funding for the Human Genome Project and the data collected from this research is all for nothing.
The second question I have is, since this article was written, what other technologies have been created to put the data to use? Now that we have all of this data and know exactly how the human genetic makeup is structured and we can find genetic diseases and anomalies, is there any new technology that can be put to use to correct these diseases and anomalies? This question is critically important because again, there doesn’t seem to be any point in the Human Genome Project if we have no use for the data collected.
The final question is, with the new Human Genome Project knowledge and subsequent technology, how far do we intend to go with gene editing in the future? Is it ethical to correct the genetic anomalies in fetus’ to ensure that a child is anomaly free and therefore create a genetically perfect child? This question is critically important because we need to ensure we set standards in the ethics of this technology and how far we are willing to take this technology into the future. Just because we can, doesn’t always mean that we should.
I have found the following reference sources to assist me in the research for the aforementioned questions: Evaluating the psychological effects of genetic testing in symptomatic patients: a systematic review (https://link-gale-com.ezproxy.umuc.edu/apps/doc/A211631873/AONE?u=umd_umuc