PSA – You Have Peak Hour Traffic and I Have……

Well we don’t have too many vehicles blocking the road but we have other hazards on the road. These big buggers becomes even more of a danger at night. You might not see them, but often you can smell them.

Outback Australia has the largest wild herds of single humped dromedaries in the world. Shooters have taken a few thousand head out of here over the last twelve months. Not that you would notice.

This was taken on a digital camera and then by the time Youtube do their thing the quality is a little poor. But you’ll get the gist of it. The sound effects are real.

Robbo


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Let’s See You Try And Wriggle Out Of This

Endemic describes an infection rate of 1-5% and hyperendemic an infection rate of over 5%. Strongyloides infection rates of over 25% have been seen in in some parts of tropical and sub-tropical indigenous Australia. It i also found in high rates in other countries in the same latitudes.

Strongyloides stercoralis is a parasitic roundworm. These worms are picked up when you come in contact with faeces or faecally contaminated soil. When these worms get on the skin they burrow in.

The larvae then move through the body and can end up in the lungs.

You cough, they end up in your mouth.

You swallow they end up in your gut, well, the small intestine where they can live happily ever after (up to 12 months).

From there they burrow into the mucosa and lay their eggs. The time taken from burrowing into the skin until the eggs hatch in the intestinal mucosa is about two weeks.

Some of these larvae when hatched are excreted where they can live for a few days outside the body. Others go through the cycle again to reach the small intestine and reproduce. The video shows where you find them in the small intestine.

They can be diagnosed from a blood test or an examination of a stool sample. Often it is high eosinophils can indicate their presence leading to further diagnostic tests. You can have them for years without knowing. However should your immune system falter they become a problem. This can be due to among other causes, a bacterial infection or doses of cortisone. Up to 60% of all deaths due to strongyloidiasis are because cortisone type drugs were given to patients with chronic strongyloidiasis.

Ivermectin is the best treatment with about an 80% cure rate if two treatments are given a week apart.

More information can be found at the Aboriginal Resource and Development Services website. A very readable pharmacy based article (as part of a larger pdf file) written by pharmacist Lindy Swain can be found in the May 2008 edition of the Rural Pharmacy magazine.

Disclaimer:The above information is of a general nature only. 341 words where I could have used a thousand. Also, please do not try to take a biopsy of your own small intestine – or anyone else’s!


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A Drive in the Country

We had a truck drive into the community with some goods to unload last week. Calm down you lot – it’s not all that exciting. We usually have at least one truck visit a week! But this one came from the east. Down the Great Central Road that goes from the centre of Australia through to Perth.

He was a bit delayed.

How long does it take you to drive 200kms?

pic from Wikipedia
pic from Wikipedia

It took this truck driver and his truck 18 hours. Bogged three times in sand. That’s a lot of wheels to dig out. And some pretty big holes. I guess that is something to look forward to as I drive out next week.

Now this is the main road. Well, it’s the only road really. It’s all dirt

This truck is of course a road train. If you don’t know what that is, think of a semi trailer with a few extra trailers

The driver didn’t look too enthusiastic about driving back. I can understand that. A few years ago I spent a long time in the mud of Innamincka helping unbo a couple of cattle road trains. I guess he’s lucky it’s been good weather (I don’t think it has rained since December) and that the roads have improved heaps over the last few years.

edited Dec 08 Those interested in this most might also like to see a personal remote weather report and some pictures of desert country with rain.

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