Just what is the difference between a virus or a bacteria illness? When we get sick, how do we know what we have? The old saying “feed a cold, starve a fever” is not practical anymore. How do they affect our health? What does the research say? What can we do for prevention?
During a typical flu season, up to 500,000 people worldwide will die from the illness, according to WHO. But occasionally, when a new flu strain emerges, a pandemic results with a faster spread of disease and, often, higher mortality rates. The most deadly flu pandemic, Spanish flu that began in 1918 and sickened up to 40% of the world’s population, killing an estimated 50 million people.
The Differences Between Bacteria and Viruses
Although bacteria and viruses are both too small to be seen without a microscope, they’re as different as giraffes and goldfish.
Bacteria are relatively complex, single-celled creatures, many with a rigid wall, and a thin, rubbery membrane surrounding the fluid inside the cell. They can reproduce on their own. Fossilized records show that bacteria have existed for about 3.5 billion years, and bacteria can survive in different environments, including extreme heat and cold, radioactive waste, and the human body. Most bacteria are harmless, and some actually help by digesting food, destroying disease-causing microbes, fighting cancer cells, and providing essential nutrients. Fewer than 1% of bacteria cause diseases in people.
Viruses are tinier: the largest of them are smaller than the smallest bacteria. All they have is a protein coat and a core of genetic material, either RNA or DNA. Unlike bacteria, viruses can’t survive without a host. They can only reproduce by attaching themselves to cells. In most cases, they reprogram the cells to make new viruses until the cells burst and die. In other cases, they turn normal cells into malignant or cancerous cells. Also unlike bacteria, most viruses do cause disease, and they’re quite specific about the cells they attack. For example, certain viruses attack cells in the liver, respiratory system, or blood. In some cases, viruses target bacteria. This information was provided from https://www.webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/bacterial-and-viral-infections#2
There are good bacteria. Good bacteria live in our bodies such as our gut flora known as microbiome (about 100 trillion) and helps to digest our food properly. These “good guys” bacteria not only help with food absorption, but assimilate vitamins, and aid in defense with our immune system. The NIH developed the Human Microbiome Project (HMP) which defines normal bacterial makeup of the body. Stating that “the human genome carries some 22,000 protein-coding genes, with the human microbiome contributing some 8 million unique protein-coding genes or 360 times more bacterial genes than human genes. The bacterial genomic contribution is critical for human survival”.
Research has identified behaviors that could be damaging your good bacteria and here’s the list: sweets, wine and beer, poor sleep, antibiotics, the city lifestyle, not enough fiber, food coloring additives, chlorine in water, antibacterial soaps, and NSAID pain relievers. Fermented foods such as sauerkraut, yogurt, and kimchi help replace good bacteria. According to 2018 smarter reviews, when buying a good supplement of probiotics check for formulas made by doctors who specialize in gut science.
Let’s talk about bad bacteria.
As defined by the STD/gov blog “Bacteria are well-known single-cell, microscopic organisms and they can live at any location or every climate of the earth. Some of these are airborne whereas few may live in water or even in the soil. Studies reveal that bacteria often take their diet from animals, plants, and people.”
Here is a list of bacterial infections: cholera, pneumonia, influenza, tuberculous, MRSA, measles, typhoid, malaria, legionnaire’s disease, anthrax, meningitis, dysentery. Link: https://www.std-gov.org/blog/bacterial-diseases/
TB is making a re-appearance. The Mayo Clinic described “as a potentially serious infectious disease that mainly affects your lungs. The bacteria that cause tuberculosis are spread from one person to another through tiny droplets released into the air via coughs and sneezes. Tuberculosis infections began increasing in 1985, partly because of the emergence of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. HIV weakens a person’s immune system so it can’t fight the TB germs. In the United States, because of stronger control programs, tuberculosis began to decrease again in 1993 but remains a concern. Many strains of tuberculosis resist the drugs most used to treat the disease. People with active tuberculosis must take several types of medications for many months to eradicate the infection and prevent the development of antibiotic resistance. Although your body may harbor the bacteria that cause tuberculosis (TB), your immune system usually can prevent you from becoming sick. Here is what the difference is from latent to active.”
- Latent TB. you have a TB infection, but the bacteria remain in your body in an inactive state, causes no symptoms, and isn’t contagious. It can turn into active TB, so treatment is important for the person with latent TB and to help control the spread of TB. An estimated 2 billion people have latent TB.
- Active TB. This condition makes you sick and in most cases can spread to others. It can occur in the first few weeks after infection with the TB bacteria, or it might occur years later.
Be cautious and know the signs and symptoms of active TB include:
- Coughing that lasts three or more weeks
- Coughing up blood
- Chest pain, or pain with breathing or coughing
- Unintentional weight loss
- Night sweats
- Loss of appetite
“Tuberculosis can also affect other parts of your body, including your kidneys, spine, or brain. When TB occurs outside your lungs, signs, and symptoms vary according to the organs involved. For example, tuberculosis of the spine may give you back pain, and tuberculosis in your kidneys might cause blood in your urine.”
If you want to find out more here is the link: https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/tuberculosis/symptoms-causes/syc-20351250
The World Health Organization (WHO) stated the antimicrobial resistance (AMR) threatens the prevention and treatment of infections caused by bacteria, parasites, viruses, and fungi. AMR drives the cost of health care up from extended hospital stay, more tests, and expensive drugs. In 2016, an estimated 490,000 developed anti-resistant Tuberculous (TB) worldwide. Also, resistance is causing problems with HIV and malaria treatments. AMR genetics usually change slowly over time. However, this process is getting faster due to the misuse and overuse of antibiotics by people and animals. They can spread rapidly between people and animals, food from animals, and people to people as well. The AMR can change when introduced to antimicrobial drugs which is why we refer to them as superbugs. Super smart and that makes them super dangerous.
The Mayo Clinic defines Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infection caused by a type of staph bacteria that’s become resistant to many of the antibiotics used to treat ordinary staph infections. Occur in people who’ve been in hospitals or other health care settings, such as nursing homes and dialysis centers. This is called healthcare-associated MRSA (HA-MRSA). These infections are associated with invasive procedures or devices, such as surgeries, intravenous tubing, or artificial joints. The community-associated MRSA (CA-MRSA), often begins as a painful skin boil that is spread by skin-to-skin contact. Mayo mentioned that at-risk populations include groups such as high school wrestlers, child care workers, and people who live in crowded conditions.
Furthermore, the Mayo clinic stated that “different varieties of Staphylococcus aureus bacteria, commonly called “staph,” exist. Staph bacteria are normally found on the skin or in the nose of about one-third of the population. The bacteria are generally harmless unless they enter the body through a cut or other wound, and even then they usually cause only minor skin problems in healthy people. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, around 2 percent of the population chronically carries the type of staph bacteria known as MRSA”.
To name a few of the most known virus-producing diseases would include HIV-AIDS, common cold, measles, chickenpox/shingles, influenza, genital herpes, and ebola hemorrhagic fever. The tricky part is that an antibiotic made for a bacterium will not extinguish a virus. If an invader (pathogen) enters your body the immune system will fight this infection by producing cold symptoms like fever, coughing, and sneezing. If left untreated and your body suffers cell damage, it can develop into a disease state with longer sickness symptoms.
According to the CDC the “Influenza A viruses can be broken down into sub-types depending on the genes that make up the surface proteins. Throughout a flu season, different types (A & B) and subtypes (influenza A) of influenza circulate and cause illness. Influenza A and B viruses are responsible for seasonal flu epidemics each year. Influenza viruses can change in two different ways—antigenic drift and antigenic shift. Influenza A virus is found in many different animals, including ducks, chickens, pigs, whales, horses, and seals. “Antigens” are molecular structures on the surface of viruses that are recognized by the immune system and are capable of triggering an immune response (antibody production). The influenza A (H1N1) virus that emerged in 2009 caused the first global influenza pandemic in more than 40 years”.
More Information about Flu Viruses, go to this link: https://www.cdc.gov/flu/about/viruses/index.htm
According to the CDC, smallpox is a serious infectious disease caused by the variola virus. It spreads from one person to another. People who had smallpox had a fever and a distinctive, progressive skin rash. About 3 out of every 10 people with the disease died. Smallpox would leave scars and left some people blind. Since vaccination, no more cases of naturally occurring smallpox have happened since 1977. The last outbreak in the United States was in 1949.
RESEARCH on Essential Oils
GOOD NEWS for essential oil lovers! PubMed and Medline databases carry research articles from the department of the National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, and National Institute of Health. Several studies are being conducted with essential oils that may inhibit the growth of superbugs like MRSA and other drug-resistant bacteria. One study showed positive results for Thyme and Cinnamon antimicrobial properties against MRSA. Oregano and Pennyroyal mint enhances the activity of Amoxicillin. Melissa officinalis and Mentha x Piperita showed 100% effects on the amoeba acanthamoeba keratitis (AK) that affect the eyes of contact users. Another study tested tea tree oil against AK with excellent results. Studies are also being conducted testing the effects of essentials oil for their insecticide properties to use on plants instead of highly toxic chemicals.
If you have a viral infection, you can try turmeric and ginger powder, basil, coriander tea, fenugreek water, lemon, and honey. Dr. Axe recommends cinnamon, thyme, oregano, and tea tree as the best antibacterial oils. Dr. Axe also mentions patchouli, geranium, lavender, tea tree, and grapefruit seed extract for staph infections. I agree with his choices and like me, he does his research. I use Tea tree and lemon in my liquid shower soap. Try out Immune 8 that has eight oils known for their anti-viral and anti-bacterial properties and get protected with the soap, lotion, or multipurpose spray. The eight oils are tea tree, lemon, lavender, lemongrass, rosewood, patchouli, cinnamon leaf, and white camphor.
Essential oils are an easy way to boost your immune system and can help defend against virus and other germs, check out Immune8.com
Use Immune 8, smells good, and feel great.
To Your Health & Happiness!!