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Good Bye (Mr.) SCHIP

By now you know that enough Repubs, including my own idiot Congresscritter, supported the Hedgemony rather than children and the effort to override the Shrubbery’s veto failed.

I’ve been saying, and people are generally taken back when I do, that SCHIP was important because children are plague carriers. They gather in groups and exchange germs. For example: Bacteria that killed Virginia teen found in other schools

NEW YORK (CNN) — Students at a high school in Virginia prepared Thursday for the funeral of a popular classmate, the victim of a deadly drug-resistant strain of bacteria that has turned up in schools across the country recently.

It’s called MRSA, short for methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, and is responsible for more deaths in the United States each year than AIDS, according to new data.

Children catch things at school, bring them home to their parents, who take them to the office, and you have an outbreak of any number of diseases, flu just being the most common. This is why you want children to have regular visits with doctors and to be immunized against common diseases. They don’t wash their hands like they should; they share food and drink; they get crammed together in classrooms and on buses – they are a perfect breeding ground for disease.

13 comments

1 Steve Bates { 10.18.07 at 11:52 pm }

Someone I know well told me this evening that the local VA Hospital (along with, I presume, all VA hospitals) now tests everyone on admission for MRSA, so they will know the degree of care necessary to avoid spreading the damned disease to everyone in sight.

Kids are still more vulnerable than adult veterans. We need a consistent policy that encourages parents to bring kids in whenever they have a problem, not whenever they think they can afford to pay for treatment.

But as with Bush’s denying funding to NGOs which even remotely might give advice about abortion in other countries, Bush doesn’t give a good damn about consequences. Any number of people can die to assuage his personal conscience; that’s a reasonable trade-off from his perspective.

Personally, I see no evidence that he has a conscience. YMMV.

2 Bryan { 10.19.07 at 12:20 am }

I had a friend who did some serious damage to his foot and the specialist who was treating the infection ordered him home and out of the hospital to prevent complications. The specialist thinks your house is a better location to avoid infections than a hospital – think about that.

3 hipparchia { 10.19.07 at 12:46 am }

plague carriers is absolutely right. they’re cute and all, but damn they’re dangerous.

4 andante { 10.19.07 at 6:54 am }

Plague-carrying is a good reason for providing medical care to the entire population, legal or not. Reports are coming in daily of more and more MRSA cases in this area, with schools shutting down classrooms and/or sending kids home altogether.

5 Bryan { 10.19.07 at 9:19 am }

Individuals are fine, Hipparchia, but we keep insisting on massing them so they can exchange their diseases. Guns, Germs, and Steel does a good job of explaining the problem.

In addition to MRSA, there is drug resistant Tuberculosis making a come back because of a lack of health care, Andante. This is a public health issue that affects everyone. This is why you cover everyone, because cost of not doing it is an epidemic – you do it because you can’t afford not to.

6 andante { 10.19.07 at 11:09 am }

My brother-in-law’s wife has that drug resistant TB (I can’t remember the name), and in addition she can’t tolerate some of the drugs that can be effective. She can barely eat, sleep, or stand up on two feet. She’s missed many, many days of work in the last @2 years, but she’s lucky her employer is her son and her husband has good health insurance through his employer.

You always think that enough people miss work or school the congressclowns might take action. I’m not too confident at this point.

7 Bryan { 10.19.07 at 11:31 am }

My maternal grandmother was orphaned by TB that her father caught in Asia while serving in the Army. All they could do was station him in New Mexico to relieve the symptoms, as this was well before antibiotics.

They have to find the right drug combination, and it has to be continued for an extended period to be effective. If people don’t have health insurance, they can’t afford to buy all of the drugs necessary.

Congresscritters think in bumper sticker-sized chunks, they don’t think things through to the logical conclusion.

8 ellroon { 10.19.07 at 11:35 am }

How much of this is due to our misuse of antibacterial soaps and cleaners, and overuse of antibacterial medicines in our poultry and beef?

We’re creating the very thing we’re afraid of…..

9 Steve Bates { 10.19.07 at 11:54 am }

ellroon, exactly so. This is a problem of our own making. Laurie Garrett has been predicting this for over a decade now.

(OT, I miss my Gravatar… andante’s is gone, too, from where I sit.)

10 Steve Bates { 10.19.07 at 12:01 pm }

(OT again: Gravatar has been acquired, and its new owners are suffering a case of Can’t Leave Well Enough Alone disease… apparently that’s not curable by any agent known to medicine.)

11 hipparchia { 10.19.07 at 12:03 pm }

ellroon, i’m convinced the use of antibiotics in livestock feed is responsible for a lot of it. europe [all or some of the countries, i forget which] outlawed antibiotics in livestock feed and their incidence if mrsa dropped significantly in a short period of time.

i buy antibiotic-free beef and chicken as much as possible, but it’s expensive and not widely available here. and back when i had aquariums, i did not buy antibiotics for the fish when they got sick.

the pet turtle industry is raising turtles in antibiotic-laced ponds, and i’m not sure [haven’t done enough research on it yet], but i think i read somewhere that catfish farms are using antibiotics in their feed and possibly in the water in the ponds themselves.

the handcleaners are of two types. the ones with chemicals like triclosan are the kind that bacteria can evolve a resistance to, and not only do i not buy them, but i constantly harangue all my family members about this. otoh, the ones with isopropyl alcohol in them should be ok to use. alcohol works by dissolving the bacteria outright. hard for them to live long enough to reproduce alcohol-resistant descendants.

soap and water works just fine, taking care of something like 99% of the germs every time you waash your hands. we really need to reserve all these other things for treatment of diseases, rather than use them a prevention. prevention is good, that’s what soap is for, but you need to keep back some weapons in the war on microbes.

12 Badtux { 10.19.07 at 2:26 pm }

The basic problem with health care in America is that we guarantee enough health care to keep you alive (i.e. emergency room care), but not enough health care to keep you healthy. The example of antibiotic-resistant TB is a perfect example. People go to the emergency room and get an emergency round of antibiotics when their TB flairs up and threatens to kill them, but then do not have the money to continue the antibiotics once released from the hospital. The reason this isn’t a problem in places like, say, Africa, is that once you get TB you die there, but we don’t let TB carriers die, we just let them stay in the population breeding worse and worse TB bugs. We should either have guaranteed universal health care, or no health care at all. What we’ve got is the worst system of all — a system for breeding super-bugs that could eventually kill millions of Americans with no hope of a cure.

13 Bryan { 10.19.07 at 4:07 pm }

Cheap antibiotic are overused, as are antibiotic products. At least part of the problem with the explosion of allergies is the fact that kids don’t develop any natural immunity by being exposed to the world around them by going out in getting dirty and eating a little mud or whatever. We have created a near sterile environment in which only the resistant microbes can exist, and then we have to deal with them.

One of the major causes of death for Native Americans was a lack of natural immunity to the diseases that were active in the European invaders and settlers.

Badtux makes a good point on TB especially, if the course of treatment isn’t completed, the disease mutates and new drugs are needed for the next round. We don’t have a preventative medicine, despite the claims of the purpose of HMOs, and the lack of normal health care means cases are forced beyond their easily treated stage.

The drug companies are another rip-off when you look at veterinary care. I treat kittens with ampicillin. It is the same pink, bubblegum flavored product prescribed for children but costs a fraction of the “child” product. It’s the same drug, but they move the decimal place when they sell it for people.