Dawn Wells “Mary Ann” Dies

We all know her best as Mary Ann Summers, stranded on Gilligan’s Island from September 26, 1964, to April 17, 1967. She was born in Reno, Nevada October 18, 1938 and in 1959 would be crowned Miss Nevada and compete for Miss America 1960. She made her acting debut on ABC’s The Roaring 20’s and the movie The New Interns.

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Should we wear masks?

I work at Stacy’s Compounding Pharmacy, in Atlanta, and since the pandemic struck we get customers occasionally coming in telling us that the CDC has said that masks do no good for stopping Covid-19.

I decided to do a little research and find out for myself. The first thing I did was ask our pharmacist, Kelly Howard. She has a friend working with Covid at the CDC and she says that masks were highly recommended.

Their website wants people to wear masks in public settings, around people not in your own household, especially when social distancing is not possible. The CDC goes on the say that they should not be worn by children under two years old,

people that may have trouble breathing, unconscious, incapacitated or unable to remove their own mask. They also agree with common sense saying that your mask acts as a barrier to prevent your respiratory droplets, which carry the virus, from traveling through the air and onto other people or surfaces. Wearing a mask with an exhalation valve or vent defeats the purpose, allowing droplets to escape into the air.

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Corona Toe?

Kelly’s Mother-in-law was diagnosed with possible Corona Toe? She complained of sore, discolored toes and the dermatologist diagnosed it as such. She is being tested to see if she has had the virus. Results to come. Update: She did not have the virus although they did not do the antibody tests so she could have had it previously.

What is Covid Toe?

Covid Toes and other Rashes Puzzle Doctors

Hand Sanitizer

[From thejakartapost.com]  Since the outbreak of COVID-19, sales of hand sanitizers have soared. It’s become such a sought-after product that pharmacies and supermarkets have started limiting the number that people can buy at one time. New York state has even announced it will start producing its own hand sanitizer to meet demand. Though hand sanitizers can help reduce our risk of catching certain infections, not all hand sanitizers are equally effective against coronavirus.

As with other viral respiratory infections – like the common cold and flu – the novel coronavirus (called SARS-CoV-2) is mainly spread when virus-laden droplets from a person’s mouth or nose are transferred to other people. However, a recent study has suggested that it can also spread through faeces.
Aside from inhaling droplets, you can also get respiratory viruses including SARS-CoV-2 by touching anything contaminated with the virus and then touching your face, in particular your mouth or nose. We touch our faces a lot without even realising it. A study from New South Wales found that people touch their faces about 23 times an hour
Washing with warm water and soap remains the gold standard for hand hygiene and preventing the spread of infectious diseases. Washing with warm water (not cold water) and soap removes oils from our hands that can harbour microbes.
But hand sanitizers can also protect against disease-causing microbes, especially in situations when soap and water aren’t available. They’re also proven to be effective in reducing the number and type of microbes.
There are two main types of hand sanitizers: alcohol-based and alcohol-free. Alcohol-based hand sanitizers contain varying amounts and types of alcohol, often between 60 percent and 95 percent and usually isopropyl alcohol, ethanol (ethyl alcohol) or n-propanol. Alcohol is known to be able to kill most germs.
Alcohol-free hand sanitizers contain something called quarternary ammonium compounds (usually benzalkonium chloride) instead of alcohol. These can reduce microbes but are less effective than alcohol.
Not only are alcohol-based hand sanitizers found to be effective at killing many types of bacteria, including MRSA and E coli, they’re also effective against many viruses, including the influenza A virusrhinovirushepatitis A virusHIV, and Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV).
Destroying viruses
Alcohol attacks and destroys the envelope protein that surrounds some viruses, including coronaviruses. This protein is vital for a virus’s survival and multiplication. But a hand sanitizer needs to be at least 60% alcohol in order to kill most viruses.
Hand sanitizers with less than 60 percent alcohol were also found to be less effective at killing bacteria and fungi and may only reduce the growth of germs rather than killing them outright.
And even hand sanitizers containing 60 percent alcohol can’t remove all types of germs. Studies have found that hand washing is more effective than hand sanitisers at removing norovirusCryptosporidium (a parasite that can cause diarrhea), and Clostridium difficile (bacteria which cause bowel problems and diarrhea).
With shortages leading some people to try and make their own hand sanitizers, it’s also important to know these might not be as effective as commercially available products.
 If hands are visibly dirty, hand washing with soap and water is more effective than using alcohol-based hand sanitizers. Research has found that the detergent effect of soap and the friction of washing work together to reduce the number of microbes on our hands, as well as the dirt and organic materials.
Sneezing or coughing into your hands also requires more than just a pump of hand sanitizer to disinfect them. This is because if your hands are contaminated with mucous, the hand sanitizer might not work as well because mucous acts to protect microbes.
As a result, the best and most consistent way of preventing the spread of the coronavirus – and reducing your risk of contracting it – remains washing your hands with soap and water as a first choice, and avoiding touching your face as much as possible.
But alcohol-based hand sanitizers (with at least 60 percent alcohol) are a practical alternative when soap and water aren’t available. If you are using hand sanitizer then, just like when washing with soap and water, you need to make sure you cover your hands (including between your knuckles, wrists, palms, back of your hand and your fingernails) fully, rubbing it in for at least 20 seconds so it’s truly effective.

Manal Mohammed, Lecturer, Medical Microbiology, University of Westminster
This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

Why Soap Works

[From New York Times] By 

It probably began with an accident thousands of years ago. According to one legend, rain washed the fat and ash from frequent animal sacrifices into a nearby river, where they formed a lather with a remarkable ability to clean skin and clothes. Perhaps the inspiration had a vegetal origin in the frothy solutions produced by boiling or mashing certain plants. However it happened, the ancient discovery of soap altered human history. Although our ancestors could not have foreseen it, soap would ultimately become one of our most effective defenses against invisible pathogens.
People typically think of soap as gentle and soothing, but from the perspective of microorganisms, it is often extremely destructive. A drop of ordinary soap diluted in water is sufficient to rupture and kill many types of bacteria and viruses, including the new coronavirus that is currently circling the globe. The secret to soap’s impressive might is its hybrid structure.
Soap is made of pin-shaped molecules, each of which has a hydrophilic head — it readily bonds with water — and a hydrophobic tail, which shuns water and prefers to link up with oils and fats. These molecules, when suspended in water, alternately float about as solitary units, interact with other molecules in the solution and assemble themselves into little bubbles called micelles, with heads pointing outward and tails tucked inside.
Some bacteria and viruses have lipid membranes that resemble double-layered micelles with two bands of hydrophobic tails sandwiched between two rings of hydrophilic heads. These membranes are studded with important proteins that allow viruses to infect cells and perform vital tasks that keep bacteria alive. Pathogens wrapped in lipid membranes include coronaviruses, H.I.V., the viruses that cause hepatitis B and C, herpes, Ebola, Zika, dengue, and numerous bacteria that attack the intestines and respiratory tract. When you wash your hands with soap and water, you surround any microorganisms on your skin with soap molecules. The hydrophobic tails of the free-floating soap molecules attempt to evade water; in the process, they wedge themselves into the lipid envelopes of certain microbes and viruses, prying them apart. “They act like crowbars and destabilize the whole system,” said Prof. Pall Thordarson, acting head of chemistry at the University of New South Wales. Essential proteins spill from the ruptured membranes into the surrounding water, killing the bacteria and rendering the viruses useless.

How Soap Works

Washing with soap and water is an effective way to destroy and dislodge many microbes, including the new coronavirus. For more about the virus, see How Coronavirus Hijacks Your Cells.

THE CORONAVIRUS has a membrane of oily lipid molecules, which is studded with proteins that help the virus infect cells.
  • Spike protein
  • Genetic material
  • Lipid membrane and other proteins
SOAP MOLECULES have a hybrid structure, with a head that bonds to water and a tail that avoids it.
Hydrophilic head (bonds with water)
Hydrophobic tail (avoids water, bonds with oil and fat)
SOAP DESTROYS THE VIRUS when the water-shunning tails of the soap molecules wedge themselves into the lipid membrane and pry it apart.
SOAP TRAPS DIRT and fragments of the destroyed virus in tiny bubbles called micelles, which wash away in water.
By Jonathan Corum and Ferris Jabr
In tandem, some soap molecules disrupt the chemical bonds that allow bacteria, viruses and grime to stick to surfaces, lifting them off the skin. Micelles can also form around particles of dirt and fragments of viruses and bacteria, suspending them in floating cages. When you rinse your hands, all the microorganisms that have been damaged, trapped and killed by soap molecules are washed away.
On the whole, hand sanitizers are not as reliable as soap. Sanitizers with at least 60 percent ethanol do act similarly, defeating bacteria and viruses by destabilizing their lipid membranes. But they cannot easily remove microorganisms from the skin. There are also viruses that do not depend on lipid membranes to infect cells, as well as bacteria that protect their delicate membranes with sturdy shields of protein and sugar. Examples include bacteria that can cause meningitis, pneumonia, diarrhea and skin infections, as well as the hepatitis A virus, poliovirus, rhinoviruses and adenoviruses (frequent causes of the common cold).
These more resilient microbes are generally less susceptible to the chemical onslaught of ethanol and soap. But vigorous scrubbing with soap and water can still expunge these microbes from the skin, which is partly why hand-washing is more effective than sanitizer. Alcohol-based sanitizer is a good backup when soap and water are not accessible. In an age of robotic surgery and gene therapy, it is all the more wondrous that a bit of soap in water, an ancient and fundamentally unaltered recipe, remains one of our most valuable medical interventions. Throughout the course of a day, we pick up all sorts of viruses and microorganisms from the objects and people in the environment. When we absentmindedly touch our eyes, nose and mouth — a habit, one study suggests, that recurs as often as every two and a half minutes — we offer potentially dangerous microbes a portal to our internal organs. As a foundation of everyday hygiene, hand-washing was broadly adopted relatively recently. In the 1840s Dr. Ignaz Semmelweis, a Hungarian physician, discovered that if doctors washed their hands, far fewer women died after childbirth. At the time, microbes were not widely recognized as vectors of disease, and many doctors ridiculed the notion that a lack of personal cleanliness could be responsible for their patients’ deaths. Ostracized by his colleagues, Dr. Semmelweis was eventually committed to an asylum, where he was severely beaten by guards and died from infected wounds.
Florence Nightingale, the English nurse and statistician, also promoted hand-washing in the mid-1800s, but it was not until the 1980s that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued the world’s first nationally endorsed hand hygiene guidelines.
Washing with soap and water is one of the key public health practices that can significantly slow the rate of a pandemic and limit the number of infections, preventing a disastrous overburdening of hospitals and clinics. But the technique works only if everyone washes their hands frequently and thoroughly: Work up a good lather, scrub your palms and the back of your hands, interlace your fingers, rub your fingertips against your palms, and twist a soapy fist around your thumbs.
Or as the Canadian health officer Bonnie Henry said recently, “Wash your hands like you’ve been chopping jalapeños and you need to change your contacts.” Even people who are relatively young and healthy should regularly wash their hands, especially during a pandemic, because they can spread the disease to those who are more vulnerable.
Soap is more than a personal protectant; when used properly, it becomes part of a communal safety net. At the molecular level, soap works by breaking things apart, but at the level of society, it helps hold everything together. Remember this the next time you have the impulse to bypass the sink: Other people’s lives are in your hands.