Blog Archive - February 2012
February 12, 2012
Some say that kissing is the universal language. If that is true, everyone will be communicating on Tuesday. I don’t want to put a damper on your expectations or your enjoyment of this day of recognition of love and romance, but this might be a good time to spotlight one of the nanobug viruses that takes advantage of this intimate demonstration of affection. Herpes Simplex 1 (HSV) causes oral lesions or “cold sores”.
HSV infections often occur in early childhood or adolescence by kissing someone who already has a cold sore. The virus can leak from the cold sore of Kisser #1 and enter the body of Kisser #2 through a tiny crack in the lip or skin around the mouth. This is why the sores occur as mirror images on the “kissers”. HSV is a virus and therefore needs living cells to survive. It invades the human cells and opens up a lesion “for business”, cranking out more virus to keep the love going. Initially, the invasion is painful and the person is not interested in pressing their lips on any one else’s. But as the body cleans up the infection and healing is in progress, the virus is still present and viable. Anyone can be at risk of HSV infection but it can be especially dangerous for small children and people with lowered immunity. So the rule for prevention is this: Don’t kiss anyone who has an obvious sore on their lip or around the mouth. And if you have one – don’t touch or pick at it when it is healing. Wash your hands after touching your mouth or the sore. Never put contact lenses in your mouth to wet them – and definitely not when you have a cold sore. Cold sores heal in about 2-3 weeks but the virus doesn’t leave you. It can start trouble again months or even years later. Reoccurrences usually happen when the person is under stress or when immunity is low.
Unfortunately, Valentine's Day is celebrated in mid-February when the cold and flu season is still in full swing and our lips are still chapped from the extreme winter weather. This potentially increases the number of infected kissers out there who should be winking instead of kissing. So, be careful as you “spread the love” - don’t spread the virus too. And for goodness sake, don’t let your lover with a cold sore kiss anywhere else either – this rule will help you avoid genital herpes (Herpes Simplex 2). Celebrate responsibly this year. Flowers and candy are nice – and so are diamonds….and rubies…and pearls…… Or a nanobugs valentine.
February 7, 2012
Got teeth? Then you better be paying attention to this nanobug: Streptococcus mutans. These are the "bad boys" that create cavities in your "pearlie whites". Hey mom, in recognition of National Children's Dental Health Month we want to send you a Strep mutans static cling to attach to the mirror in your bathroom to stimulate your children to brush and floss. Just leave your name and address as a comment on the website “contact us" and we will send you the static cling and some temporary tattoos of Streptococcus mutans to serve as rewards (or bribes). See if you can change behaviors in your household with these compliance aids.