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· Founder
17,151 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
If you have ever wondered if you should let the infection run its course, or rush the person to the hospital, here is something to consider.

Keep in mind, there is a difference between a 100 - 101 degree fever and a 103 - 104 degree fever. There are times when medical treatment is necessary. And then there are times when people rush to the doctor or emergency room at the slightest signs of illness.

Bird flu hopes from 1918 victims

Survivors of the devastating 1918 influenza pandemic are still protected from the virus, according to researchers in the US.

American scientists found that people who lived through the outbreak can still produce antibodies that kill the deadly strain of the H1N1 flu.
Some of the volunteers - aged from 91 to 101 - even had the cells which produce the antibodies.

The researchers used the antibodies to cure infected mice - showing, they said, that 90 years on, the survivors of the epidemic were still protected.

The antibodies were particularly powerful - so that only a small amount was needed to kill off the virus.

Dr James Crowe, of Vanderbilt University, who helped lead the study, said similar antibodies could be developed to destroy new strains of bird flu.
This is a good example of when the body can fight the infection off, the antibodies that are produced can offer some form of protection for the life of the person.

Next time your "feeling a little down" - do you "really" need to go to the hospital or doctor?

From what I understand, antibiotics can interfere with the natural immune response of the body. Even though the person might be sick, the antibiotics help kill the infection. This means the person will not develop the immunities they would have if the infection would have been allowed to run its course.

· Shuriken snowflake
16,806 Posts
Of course you can say back to nature, your system can fight anything off. Eh... it can't. That is why people actually die from disease.

But handing out antibiotics for everything is stupid and it's been known for 20 years, yet no one wanted to do much about this. When I had strep, I was introduced to the new no antibiotics policy. I had a fever for 2 weeks straight. I wasn't allowed a visit to the doc, nor meds. It took months for the thing to get better. I'm still experiencing myoclonus, involuntary small muscle jerks after the untreated infection. I actually think I should have been treated. When I had flu a few months later, I had a fever of 105 for a week before I was actually allowed any care at all, what I got was basically IV fluid, no anti viral meds, nothing. Yea, tylenol. That is what I'm used to. You seem to have to be dying to get help here. There are actually people that go to a doctor for things more insignificant than that? WHY?

Maybe some of you have too much faith in what modern medicine can do.

It will be interesting to see who survives the next super flu. What is special about those is that our immune system doesn't recognize them as anything, so very strange things happen.

· Founder
17,151 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Antibiotics don't do anything to a VIRUS. Flu is a virus.

Antibiotics are good for a secondary infection: sinus infection, ear infection, pneumonia, bronchitis, etc.
Was this pointed towards my post? I think you missed the point of this thread.

This has nothing to do with a virus or bacteria, its about the bodies natural immune response to an infection.

· Just use a 2x4
821 Posts
Was this pointed towards my post? I think you missed the point of this thread.

This has nothing to do with a virus or bacteria, its about the bodies natural immune response to an infection.
Oh, I absolutely agree with the point of your thread.

And I'm sorry for derailing; I didn't mean to. I only wanted to point out, really, the difference between a virus and a bacterial infection.

There is a time to let your body take care of business, and a time to get it some help.

· Registered
23 Posts
Antibodies 101.

A normal immune system "feels" the inside of the body the same as a blind person "feels" the world around them.

Immunoligist call the things the system feels "self" and "non-self"

side note: Rheumatic disorders occur when the system attacks "self" such as joint tissue in Rheumatoid Arthritis.

When the normal immune system feels "non-self" for our example we'll say "fireant venom".

then a whole cascade of events happen in which the particular shape of fireant venom is stored in cells called "T-memory cells" these cells store a bluprint of the Antibody for fireant venom.

The next time fireant venom is introduced these cells replication rate explodes and start producing a load of the specific antibodies.

Now, what do antibodies do?

A lot of people think that antibodies do the fighting off themselves. This is not true.

The only function of an antibody is to attach to "non-self" things and mark them for destrction. It is the equivalent of marking a building condemned and waiting for the demolition crew to take it down.

The more antibodies are around, the more clearly things are marked, hence the quicker they are destroyed.

It is a very complicated process and took me weeks to learn and understand, and is difficult to tone down to laymens terms, but I hope this helps


· trois pour cent
5,989 Posts
Strep pharyngitis is the perfect example of an infection that should be treated with antibiotics immediately in a child. It's usually caused by Group A Streptococcus and failure to treat can result in rheumatic fever and even kidney failure. One shot of bicillin is all it takes to treat it. I've cared for children in ICU requiring dialysis after kidney failure secondary to untreated strep.

Your body makes antibodies regardless of whether the bug is bacterial or viral and regardless of whether you are treated with antibiotics. The antibiotic supplements your immune response. It does not take the place of it. It does not interfere with it.

A brief explanation of how they work:
How do antibiotics work?

Antibiotics may be used to treat bacterial disease by preventing the formation of bacterial cell walls. Some antibiotics like penicillin and cephalosporin inhibit the synthesis of peptide links between peptidoglycan molecules in bacterial cell walls. This causes the cell wall to become weak and the bacterium to explode.These peptidoglycans are not found in mammalian cells, which is whythe antibiotics are selectively toxic towards bacteria.

Some antibiotics interfere with DNA replication. Rifampicin binds toRNA polymerase in bacteria and prevents transcription.The anthracyclines interfere with DNA synthesis in all organisms, but the effect is most marked in rapidly growing cancer cells.

Some antibiotics interfere with protein synthesis. Antibiotics like streptomycin and tetracycline interfere with protein synthesis often by binding to the ribosomes. Some antibiotics can only bind to ribosomes from bacteria, but some like tetracycline can bind to ribosomes in mammals and bacteria. They are not harmful to humans because they are excluded from mammalian cells. Some antibiotics also promote the synthesis of abnormal proteins.

Some antibiotics prevent cell membrane function. Most of the new peptide antibiotics work by binding to molecules (usually sterols) in the cell wall. This distorts the lipid bilayer and opens channels in the membrane that causes the cell contents to leak out. Bacteriostatic antibiotics prevent growth and multiplication, which gives the body’s immune system a better chance of fighting a bacterial infection. Bactericidal antibiotics kill their target bacteria.
That said, we don't need antibiotics for every little snotty nose. Every sore throat is not strep. They've found that antibiotics don't really work that well for middle ear infections or for sinus infections. I've seen research that shows most ear infections get well on their own regardless of antibiotics. Yet many docs still prescribe.

And on top of that, data tells us that approximately 70% of antibiotics used in America are used in agriculture. So they are in our food supply as well as being overprescribed by docs. End result, the bacteria out there respond to all that exposure by becoming resistant.

So I think less treatment by antibiotics in better in the long term but serious infections such as strep should be treated immediately.

Current recommendations for fever also are leaning toward being more conservative. In the hospital, we usually don't treat with tylenol until over 101 F. Low grade fevers are just a sign of your immune system doing it's job and we don't want to knock that out with tylenol or advil.

Sorry this went a little long but hope you find it helpful.
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