I was reminded that adults get pediatric diseases this week when I got sick. Last Friday, I finished my day at work in the office and went home particularly tired. I’m generally tired at the end of the day, but this day I was exhausted. After supper, I sat in my favorite chair and slept for about an hour. Despite this sleep, I was still tired. At this point I decided to do something radical–go to bed at 8:30pm in the evening. Usually it’s off to studio 1E but not this night. I slept a good 10 hours, all told, and got up to go off to work that weekend. Still didn’t feel great. While at work, the thought crossed my mind that I might have a strep infection….logical thought since every child I was touching that day had it! I asked my nurse to run the test. Bam, five minutes later I was the owner of a very strong positive. I had a kid’s disease. After I had the benefit of a little penicillin, I was as good as new.
That entire experience was just another reminder of how interconnected pediatric and adult disease can be. I am always amused when I hear my internist friends realizing that germs that pediatricians deal with on epidemic proportions on a regular basis discover that these same germs are a major cause of adult disease and mortality; germs like Influenza, RSV, Parainfluenza, Rotavirus, Parvo B19, Enteroviruses, and yes, Group A Strep. Germs are equal opportunity infectors. Given the right conditions, most germs will infect anyone of any age, race, gender, or sex. It’s a small world and one owned by our microbial friends who surround us. In reality, we’re the invaders in their space. Just a thought for you to ponder.
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