A few germs were waiting at the doorknob for their ride to work and started talking just to pass the time. “So what sort of work do you do Chlamy” asked Rhinovirus. “Well, I tend to like infecting the conjunctiva of the eyes, then, if I’m lucky, cause blindness” responded Chlamydia Trachomatis. “How much red tape incubation period until your ball gets rolling?” Rhino continued. “Usually, around 2 to 9 days of waiting around.” “How about you, Rhino?” Chlamy asked. “I make my way into the upper respiratory tract via the sinuses and mouth, then cause a mild head cold with a runny nose, and if I work really hard, a slight fever after only 3 to 5 days” Rhinovirus replied. “Boy you guys sure aim low don’tcha?” interrupted Chickenpox. “What makes you so great?” they both responded. “Well…first I start off with causing a fever with malaise, then go on from there to develop into ugly looking fluid filled vesicles all over the body that are intensely itchy. If the person that I infect scratches off the scabs before they crust over and fall off, they get a scar for life.” Chickenpox smiled, then continued “ but then I get really interesting. After my primary infection subsides, I go and hang out near the spinal cord ganglions and bide my time until the person gets stressed out and run down enough that I can come out again as Shingles. I get to be even more nasty my second time round, by causing blisters, intense pain and occasionally paralysis. Not bad eh?” Chickenpox concluded. “Rhino, Chlamy, you guys shouldn’t bother getting too impressed” said Staphylococcus Aureus. “all you guys are mostly self limiting and something as simple as high dose Vitamin C tends to inactivate you.” He continued. “I, on the other hand am responsible for tons of hospital born infections, and my big brother MRSA can even cause amputations to happen!” “In fact, since my big bro is virtually immune to most antibiotics, the only thing that can really put a dent in his infections is Manuka honey, and what ER doc is going to remember that little bit of medical folklore?” “Not to mention that you viruses are far more susceptible to hand sanitizers like Purell™ than we are. All we need to do is clump together and form a slimy biofilm to protect ourselves.” he finished smugly. “Whoa boys, check it out! Surfs up!” said Rhinovirus as he saw the big hand reaching for the doorknob. As they all started surfing, Chlamy noticed that they were heading for the washroom, then realized that they were all doomed. When the others noticed they all screeched simultaneously “Aaaaaaaaaaah! Soap!”

Be Well.

Dr. Audette

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