Health Care SHTF. Part 1 Strep throat
Seriously. Every prepper has a HUGE first aid kit. Pounds of Fish Antibiotics. Bandages to go from here to the moon. Surgical and Suture kits out the wazzo.
And I am damn glad they do.
During the initial 0 to 6 months of an SHTF event (Depending on the time of the year) the major players in the death of people will be: 1. Trauma. 2. Infection. 3. Exposure. Those that survive that first 6 months with outputting or getting a big hole in them or losing a major body part. Clean and dress even minor cuts, and get some good shelter and protection from the elements going are home free.
Or are they?
The title of this newsletter is Healthcare SHTF. And technically those three items I talked about fall into that category. What I do want to discuss is long-term health care and what that entails. Healthcare today has turned into a hodgepodge of buzzwords; directives from Washington and local state capitals. And a HUGE influx of money and media by “Big Pharma” It is no longer profitable to cure people. But we have heard me say that for years. To survive SHTF folks need to learn how to continue their health care. Now without the access to Metropolol, Lipitor, Coreg, Metformin post SHTF, how are you going to “manage” your high blood pressure, Cholesterol, and Type 2 Diabetes?
Notice how I left Type 1 Diabetes out of this conversation??
The vast majority of preppers I know are pretty damn good at dealing with trauma. And please stay up to date on that training! But past that they are not so good with dealing with an earache, Strep throat, allergies “Mom I don’t feel good”, “What’s wrong?”, “I don’t know, I don’t feel good”. The things that we would make an appointment with our family doctor about. We need to take care of those things. And to take care of Mom “I don’t feel good” takes some pretty basic training.
So let’s start with some bare basics.
Strep Throat. The majority of “strep” infections are viral. So antibiotics will not work. How to tell if it is strep or a viral infection?
Strep Throat with a rash is called Scarlet Fever. Prior to the invention of antibiotics; Strep could be fatal. So let’s talk a little history.
Between 1840 and 1883, scarlet fever, caused by our old friend Group A Streptococcus was one of the most common infectious causes of death among children in the United States. Fatality rates ranged from 15% to 30%. As late as 1910 it was in the top 4 of infectious deaths of children.
Now an odd fact. After WW1 the death rate for strep dropped dramatically. No one really knows why.
Some symptoms of strep are:
- A sore throat often so sore that it is difficult to swallow
- Body aches
- Fever usually higher than 101 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Loss of appetite.
- Nausea or vomiting.
- A rash that feels like sandpaper on the body.
- Small, red spots on the roof of the mouth.
- Swollen neck glands that feel like small, round bumps.
- Swollen tonsils.
- Tonsils have white patches or streaks on them.
Now not all cases of strep will have all the symptoms
Non-strep sore throat symptoms:
- Fever of less than 101 if any
- Runny nose
- Red throat
As I stated above. Strep can be fatal. One thing that strep can progress to is Rheumatic fever.
Strep can go from bad to worse with strep throat. That’s one reason why treatment with antibiotics is so important. Without treatment; rheumatic fever can set in; usually about two weeks to a month after signs of strep throat first appear. Rheumatic fever is much more than just a fever—it may cause severe joint, heart, skin, and brain problems. It can damage heart valves as well.
So now that I have everyone scared about Strep SHTF What can you do about it? One school of though is (was) to treat all sore throats that had white splotches with antibiotics. Thank goodness that has slowly faded away. Remember only 30% of sore throats are Strep.
That is a prime example of Strep Throat. My general rule of thumb is if a throat looks like that AND has the fever, a lot of pain, then it’s time to treat.
Here is a good example of Strep and non-strep throat:
The best way above all others is to “plate” a culture.
Ok. What’s that smell?
Those skills will come in handy for determining if it is or is not Strep Throat
The most common antibiotics for strep is penicillin 250 mg 4 times a day or 500mg twice a day. Or amoxicillin 500 mg 3x a day and Augmentim 500 mg 2x a day. Cephalosporin works well also. But plain old penicillin is still the best for the group a strep.
If allergic to penicillin and its relatives the Zpack (Azithromycin) is good.
Clarithromycin has shown to be more effective than a Zpack over 10 days vs 5 days for the Zpack.
Stay away from fluoroquinolones, metronidazole, tetracyclines, and trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole. They do not work on strep and have very nasty side effects.
Now, what if you do not have or run out of or don’t have a lot of antibiotics?
In 1999, Dr. David A. Revelli of BYU, wrote a letter summarizing what CS did on different bacterias In test Tubes. The actual letter is tough to find but there are links to sites that have it Brigham-Young University Report on Colloidal Silver.
I have used CS on my son’s effectively on Strep Throat. Both boys have had it and by using about 30 cc (1-ounce shot class) 3 times a day and spraying it directly on the throat 3 x a day has stopped it within 48 hours of treatment. Now one thing about CS. It will burn when sprayed. So it’s an optional thing.
Another old treatment of Strep was the eating of moldy bread. Moldy bread has been used to disinfect cuts as far back as Ancient Egypt.
Related: Remedies To Fight the Cold
Berberine. Berberine is extracted from the barberry family of plants. Also, Goldenseal has it and a few others. There are some studies on it as an antibiotic/antimicrobial agent. As a systemic the studies are inconclusive but as a topical, it is well documented. This study shows how it works on a type of strep bacteria. More studies need to be done on it Antibacterial activity and mechanism of berberine against Streptococcus agalactiae.
Rest Hydration and food. This is as important as frontline antibiotics for curing Strep Throat. It is also a theory of mine on the decrease of fatalities in children from strep throat during the 20th century.
Strep is serious. It can, has and will be fatal. The key to it is to determine if it is strep or viral and treat accordingly. Yes treating Strep does not have the rush of stopping the bleeding of an artery or fixing a broken bone or repairing a bullet hole. But it is a HUGE part of the greater picture of health care SHTF. Not knowing how to treat those things is as bad as not knowing how to put on a tourniquet and watching your patient bleed to death. Just slower and much more painfully.