viernes, 23 de diciembre de 2011

Merry Christmas!

May this Christmas be bright and cheerful and may the New year begin on a prosterous note.
Thank you very much to all you that visit the blog... I will try to do it better next year, LOL.

Miss Parasites

jueves, 8 de diciembre de 2011

Pediculosis I: What are lice?

Pediculosis is the infestation due to lice. There are three classes of lice: head lice (Pediculus humanus capitis), body lice (Pediculus humanus corporis) and pubic lice (Pthirus pubis; crab lice, to a better understanding).
Head lice are insects that feed human flood. Measures are 2 to 5 mm. Colour go from beige, white-grey to grey or dark brown. They are paler when emerge from the eggs and become darker when they have blood inside them. Lice have three pairs of legs in their abdomen. Every leg has a claw to grasps the hair. Average life is about one month. The female louse lays her eggs or nits near of the hair base. To do it, the female louse uses the last segment of her abdomen. This segment looks like and inverted V that grasps the hair in the egg laying. After a week the immature louse or nymph emerges from the nit. Nymphs feed blood and they need about 20 days to become adult (male or female).
Lice can parasite everybody and half of world population had been parasited in some moment in their lives. There isn’t relationship between prevalence of lice and hygiene practices; so to have lice isn’t cause of embarrassment.
Lice are more common in childhood (3 to 12 years old). 14-16% of the kids have lice at this moment. The girls (and women in general) are more parasited that men.

To be continued…

PS.- Problems with my English? I would appreciate your help.

jueves, 1 de diciembre de 2011

Hand, foot and mouth disease or HFMD

This blog will be mostly about parasites but, well, bacteria and viruses sometimes are also "parasites" so first entry (ok, second) is about viruses.

A few days ago, an American friend wrote me concerned about an illness that was affecting their grandchildren and that was causing them ulcers in the mouth and throat, as well as lesions on the hands and feet. He said it was very common in the United States and if I could tell him something about it. Honestly... I has no idea what he was talking about... So I did some research and after asking to a microbiologist friend, he gave me the acronym HFMD (Hand Foot Mouth Disease). Now, I can tell you something about this disease:

The hand, foot and mouth disease or HFMD is caused by viruses of the enterovirus family, the main coxsackievirus A16 and enterovirus 71 (a bit less common and more severe).
It affects mainly infants and young children (below 10 years), although occasional adults may have the disease but usually they had been in contact with the virus during childhood and are immunized.
It is contracted by contact with secretions from the nose and mouth (mucus and saliva), blister fluid and faeces. After an incubation period about 3 and 7 days, appears malaise, headache, fever, along with small blisters on hands, feet and mouth (lips and perioral area). In infants is very common ocurrence of blisters in the diaper area. In the oral cavity, these blisters often generate ulcers in throat, mouth, gums and tongue.
The illness lasts about a week or two. There is no specific treatment and are only recommended medication to relieve discomfort and prevent complications. Children are often in a bad mood due to discomfort, cry a lot and eat little because the painful blisters in the mouth... patience... it is a self-limited disease and only rarely is serious.
Measures to prevent the disease are the correct hand washing, cleaning surfaces, avoid contact with sick people... come on... which is almost impossible with kids.. so you have to be alert, not alarmed much (or not more than necesary) and know that it is more common in summer and early fall.

It is the "typical" photography that appears on all web pages.

PS1.- Thanks to Robert for giving me the "acronym" and to James for making me the question.

PS2.- Problems with my English? I would apreciate your help.

miércoles, 30 de noviembre de 2011

The beginning…

Finally you win… After hear a lot of times… ”Can you do the blog in English?”…. Here you are…A blog in SPANGLISH… that’s the only I can do, sorry.
This will be the spanglish version of my blog “Miss Parasitos”. It’s about Parasitology but Microbiology and Virology too… The entries are explained in a simple way to all the public and I’m sure you will have fun with my language mistakes.
I hope that some of my Parasitologist and Microbiologist friends help me in this difficult challenge (it isn’t a request, it is a threat, lol).

Welcome to everybody!!!!!!!!!!!