08.31.17

Harvey potentially boosts vulnificus season

Posted in Bioterrorism, Culture of Lickspittle at 5:45 pm by George Smith

Although still a relatively rare hazard, the NY Times informs Harvey floodwaters could boost area Vibrio vulnficus infections: Some Texas public health officials expect an increase in gastrointestinal problems from bacteria breeding in stagnant floodwaters that can contain Escherichia coli (E. coli), Shigella, and Vibrio vulnificus. The latter, which is present in the Gulf of […]

08.16.17

Vibrio vulnificus season

Posted in Bioterrorism, Culture of Lickspittle at 1:32 pm by George Smith

It’s that time of year when Vibrio vulnificus infections begin showing in the news with some regularity. V. vulnificus is the brackish water/salt water bacterium I worked on for my Ph.D. which outlined its production of a collagenolytic enzyme that might and did turn out to have something to do with the catastrophic but human […]

07.29.14

Vulnificus season (continued)

Posted in Bioterrorism at 2:02 pm by George Smith

From this blog, earlier in the summer: In years to come, the effect of global warming on [the incidence of Vibrio vulnificus] will bear watching. From the Washington Post, in a piece on Vibrio vulnificus in the Chesapeake: “It is likely that over the next few decades, if global warming continues, the vibrio will start […]

07.17.14

Vulnificus season illnesses drifting in

Posted in Bioterrorism at 2:45 pm by George Smith

From the Hattiesburg newspaper: René Olier went fishing June 5 just the way he had for 50 years. He stopped to get live bait and set out for an area south of Cat Island. The 63-year-old returned about 2:30 p.m. feeling fine, his wife, Linda Olier, said, but woke up in the night with chills. […]

07.02.14

More on vulnificus season: Students get involved

Posted in Bioterrorism, Culture of Lickspittle at 11:43 am by George Smith

In 1982 there was virtually no interest in the flesh-eating microbe, Vibrio vulnificus. When I left school, doctorate in hand, there were probably only a handful of people working on it worldwide. On interviews in which I presented a seminar on it, there was never any enthusiasm. No one wanted to hear a thing. The […]

06.30.14

Vulnificus season

Posted in Bioterrorism, Culture of Lickspittle at 1:47 pm by George Smith

It’s the season for flesh-eating disease on the Gulf Coast. Warmer water at this time of year results in more of the marine vibrio, V. vulnificus in the water, on the rocks and submerged objects in shallow water, and in shell fish. The microbe is always present but the summer months give it optimal growth […]

08.16.12

It’s Vibrio vulnificus Month

Posted in Bioterrorism at 10:16 am by George Smith

It’s the time of year when the microbe at the heart of my old doctoral thesis is in highest concentration in Gulf Stream waters. And while most people suffer no consequences, a small number have very bad luck. If you live near or on the east and gulf coasts and spend summers at the beach […]

10.23.16

Global warming good for unusual disease

Posted in Bioterrorism at 12:11 pm by George Smith

From the Washngton Post on Vibrio vulnificus: A recent study in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences has shown that “rising ocean temperatures related to global warming “is strongly associated with spread of vibrios, an important group of marine prokaryotes, and emergence of human diseases caused by these pathogens.” “In eight out of nine […]

06.27.16

Unfortunately, it’s that time of year …

Posted in Culture of Lickspittle, Decline and Fall at 11:21 am by George Smith

Every year, Vibrio vulnificus infections begin with the arrival of summer. When I worked with the organism, it was the lab’s take that it was fairly common in estuarine and beach waters along the Gulf Coast. Infections, catastrophic ones, happened in those with underlying medical conditions. Upticks in V. vulnificus infections in recent years are […]

02.17.14

Americans don’t know science: Don’t blame me

Posted in Culture of Lickspittle at 5:03 pm by George Smith

Americans don’t know science and as I enter the last quarter of my life I don’t care. I tried to fight the battle for years, starting long ago, and lost. It’s not entirely the fault of the citizenry or education. It’s because, quite frequently, the American economy and system didn’t actually want a lot of […]

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