Infection Control Today - 01/2002: Microbe of the Month

Microbe of the Month
By Roger P. Freeman, DDS

You lookin' at me? 'Cause I'm lookin' back at you. Truth be told, I am one personality-potentiated parasite. You may not want to get too up-close-and-personal, though, 'cause while I'm smilin' on the outside, I will grip and rip you on the inside... it's just what I do! Actually, I've been tryin' to manage my hostility lately...but how'd you like it if people called YOU a eukaroyte? (For the record, I still have all five of my...uh... flagella!) Not a lot of people know too much about me. Except, 'a course, the ones who meet me personally. They usually make my acquaintance through contaminated H2O, lots of times by drinking out of --catch this, you LL Bean types--"pristine" streams. Pristine! Tell that to the Sasquatch seeking relief up stream! You may wanna rethink location if your tendencies lean toward stream-sipping. Oh yeah, once I got you, I will generally party in the old guteroo, grooving as a trophozoite (no remarks!), or chilling as a cyst-napper. Lucky for me, I get "passed on" a lot. In fact, some of my little bowel buddies are real party poopers. Warning! Do not read further if you are of a delicate persuasion. Think foul, fishy, fetid, and green! I'm whatcha might call "proactive" in the nursery... not a pretty thing! As an equal-opportunity bug, I've been besmirched as a zoonosist. Will this name-calling never end? Animals, people, animals, people. So I like beavers (been to Banff lately?), wild animals, dogs, cats! I like people, too. If I do get to you, a flagon of flagyl may dampen my enthusiasm, but I might just as easy go into a funk, to lambada another day. In fact, I've been known to hang around for weeks, months, even years. Three squares a day and 25 feet of yard space. What's to move for? Check out my favorite movie, Silence of the Lamblias, and name me if you dare. 

Roger P. Freeman, DDS, is a dental infection control consultant and president of Infectious Awareables, Inc., an infection control promotional company, at www.iawareables.com.

E-mail your answers to kpyrek@vpico.com. The names of the first 25 readers who supply the correct answer will be placed in a quarterly drawing for infection control-related prizes. Winners of the first quarter drawing will be announced in the February 2002 issue. The answers to last month's mystery microbe are: HSV 1 (Herpes Simplex), HSV 2 (Genital Herpes), Herpes Zoster, Epstein-Barr, Cytomegalovirus, and Herpes 6, 7, 8.

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