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Author Topic: A book for Christmas,  (Read 9260 times)
biff
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« on: December 19, 2019, 11:19:26 AM »

     Well I am still recovering from my bout of cyber plumbing, but only just,
                   The moderator elders took me to one side and after a 20 minute silence, nodded their heads and said that they would like me to recommend a book for Christmas but for god sake
   stay away from the plumbing department or you will flood the whole forum. What could I do. So I just stood their nodding. We all stood their nodding, Nodding is good.
     Anyhow,,
      I have a book in mind and it is called,,, Parasite Rex by Carl Zimmer.
   It is non fiction and well worth a read. As our planet grow warmer and our seas rise and back up our estuaries we will be living in wetter climates and new bugs and virus,s will appear. It is already
   happening. Parasites can adapt and we mistakenly think that they cannot reason or plan their campaigns.
  I will start with our canine friends whose depend on us for their food and health. There are 6 known different types of tape worm, then there is round worm and a host of other little critturs that will ensure that we best be on our toes.   Pork, Lamb, Beef, venison, different fish all have their own parasite worms, And we humans even have our own special worm that has been with us since time immemorial.
 The mummies of the ancient Egyptians revealed that they too were host to the Guinea worm. A worm that grows to 4 ft long and inhabits the whole body and whose reproduction methods are the thing of
 nightmares, A world wide campaign was fought against the scourge of Guinea worm and the incredibly the worm,s area of operation has been reduced to an area in East Sudan of 10 million souls and because of the war, is on hold., The campaign for the guinea worm eradication, which involves spraying lakes and waterways as well as treating the patients in sterile and hygienic conditions is on the cusp of putting one of our oldest known human parasite on the extinction list. The irony is that we know so little about it and it is only when we study exactly what the Guinea Worm has been doing to the human body, passing through the vital organs and travelling down a leg to exit when the victim is near water. It is only then that we realise that the same worm must be able to create morphine or a very good substitute. Some might recoil in horror but the best way to beat your enemy is to know him properly.
   Back to our canine friends and this time in the southern states of America. Heartworm is prevalent there. We never hear of it here but when the temperature starts to rise and the mosquito that carries the lava have suitable breeding conditions there will be nothing to stop them. Heartworm does not affect us humans but it is a dreadful thing for a dog to endure. It is also very expensive to treat, somewhere between 1200 and 1800 dollars to put a dog right over a 4 to 6 month period. The treatment finishes up with a series of 3 large injections into the dogs body that are extremely painful. The dog has to be sedated and prevented from jumping about like it would normally do. The dog could have a heart attack and die towards the end of it,s treatment.  So that is heartworm one of the many parasites that will visit our shores in the future.
   Yes it is worth a read, There is a good bit about how some parasites can drug their victims with mind bending effect so that they will work tirelessly for them and never try to escape. ( aphids)
   Enjoy,
      Biff
 
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todthedog
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« Reply #1 on: December 19, 2019, 02:02:39 PM »

just YouTube  Guinea worm horrible.
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biff
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« Reply #2 on: December 19, 2019, 04:17:55 PM »

I fully agree Tod,
                 But once you get over the first reaction, You soon realise that this is a creature of massive intelligence and imprinted survival instinct.
  It makes it,s victim thirsty sweating but when they approach water it waits behind the shin bone in soft flesh and sends the nerves on fire . The first thing the victim wants to do is cool it with water,
 So they splash water over it and then the head of the worm breaks through the skin and releases big spasms of larva on the water, again and again and again, while the victim can only stand in shock.
 You cannot kill it or else it will kill the victim within hours. The only way forward is to wait till the worm is tricked into breaking through the skin on the lower leg and then wrap it around a stick and gently wind it up on the stick, If the worm breaks through impatience, The patient dies without hope. It can circumnavigate the body, pass through the different organs without killing it,s host and that is the part that has fooled scientists.There is a lot lot more but its is pretty gruesome. The heartworm has a similar grip on our canine friends. If you try kill the heartworm with some kind of chemical, it will induce a heart attack immediately and kill the dog. Working around the heartworm is very tricky indeed,. like walking on eggs.,,,,,,,,,Interesting stuff.
                                     Biff
  The interesting thing is, that scientists are now examining the possibility that these creatures which have shared our bodies (uggg Not mine) since time began could well be used for some kind of cure in medicine in the future. East Sudan is the only place left that they are still surviving because of the war. Wiping out the last of them might not be a good idea.
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