Thursday, 19 May 2011

Beautiful But Deadly

Is this a flower or perhaps some pollen viewed under the microscope?  I'll put you out of your misery and disclose that this object, that granted, is rather easy on the eye, is the genital herpes virus.  Eugh!

It's the persistence of viral symptoms that has prompted me to write this long planned article, although I hasten to add that my own particular set are firmly established in my upper body and not my nether regions!  Although I've been back at work for a couple of days I'm still coughing and spluttering, with an ominous blocked ear.  The last time I had one of those, the situation worsened to a degree where I went completely deaf for a week.  But enough of my hypochondriacal rumination. I want to show you more of these rather fetching beasties.

These delightful little pink pincushions are in fact the h1n1 virus.  The nurse that gave me my jab this year had been to a bigwig conference where she'd be told that this particular strain was so effective because of its excellent ability to stay attached to bits and pieces in the lung.  Note my highly scientific style here.  I did try to look this piece of information up for myself but the language got far too technical.  What I did establish was that the strain responsible for the 1918-19 flu epidemic was even better at being clingy.  Hence its even more devastating death toll.

From the Institue of Molecular Biology, University of Wiscosin
Okay, does anyone want to hazard a guess at this one which seems to come in a variety of colourways!  I'll give you a clue.  For women, it presents an annoying array of symptoms that they stoically ignore and continue their paid work, homemaking and childcare tasks.  But it affects men to a far more significant degree, poor loves.  They take to their beds, sniff and sneeze with ferocious audibility,  become monumentally irritable and drop tissues all over the floor.  Now, I think you're all intelligent enough to come up with the answer to this one yourselves!

1 comment:

  1. I'm amazed that viruses look so pretty, though probably not so if you're suffering from one, especially 'man flu'.