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My Unexpected and Infectious Sickness

By James Minano

After a game of hard work and determination, I decided to go to one of my friend’s houses to party. Hours went by and I was having a lot of fun. We were playing cup pong and danced to the music. When it was time to go home, I went to say bye to everyone before heading off. I got home around one in the morning after a cold night. The next morning I woke up and felt very uncomfortable in my throat. I did not think anything of it since I had a game the day before. I stayed home, putting ice on my body from all the hits from the game and deciding to play video games and spend time with my mother the whole day. The following day, I felt horrible. My throat felt like it was on fire every time I would swallow, I had very bad fatigue, and I felt nauseous all day. My mother had noticed since I did not want to eat and stayed in bed for most of the day. She offered to take me to the doctor, but me being stubborn, I declined. A week passed of me not going to school or getting off my bed before I asked my mom if I could go to the doctor for some antibiotics. We scheduled an appointment for the following morning, and we spoke to my doctor and he prescribed me antibiotics for strep throat. 

My story is not unique, here’s the problem

After finding out that this sickness or infection is very common, I understood that this story represents the unhealthy and unsafe uncleanliness in public health. However, not many people have access to hygienic and general healthcare. Strep throat is very easy to spread, especially in the fall and winter seasons. I personally have gotten strep throat four times in seven years. Overall, infections could be stopped by leading better hygienic lives by washing hands, using hand sanitizer after touching objects or food, and staying away from large groups of people that may be sick. I was fortunate to have plenty of hand soap and hand sanitizer to help me not get strep throat as many times. According to a study done in October 2020 by Capone et al., about 930,000 of low-income families and homeless people do not have basic sanitation supplies (p.1569). While strep throat is common and contagious, I would not say it is the worst area of public health but fewer people would be going to the hospital for infections or diseases that are easily fixable. People with very low income and homeless people have a higher chance of getting strep throat because they do not have the resources to protect themselves from infections. 

Create Cures Foundation

Create Cures Foundation is a nonprofit organization that is trying to combat unhealthy and unsafe uncleanliness for low-income families and families that do not have homes. All the money and donations they receive go towards families without the necessary supplies to keep their families safe. The Create Cures Foundation started off by making it their mission to find cures and successful treatments for serious illnesses such as different types of cancers and cardiovascular diseases. CCF has now tried to satisfy basic sanitation supplies for homeless families and low-income families. Their way of getting donations is by starting fundraisers and spreading awareness about unsafe conditions. The Create Cures Foundation members would suggest donating money to charities that support the ways to supply families in need of hygiene products and spread awareness to areas that do have hygiene products to donate supplies or money.

What we can do to help right now

There are many things that we can do to help our community to fight against diseases that are preventable. We could support charities like Create Cures Foundation by donating money, soap, hand sanitizer, and/or detergent. They create public fundraiser events that take place once every month. Hygiene products are the most simple things to donate to help out families without supplies to clean themselves or their clothes. At the public fundraiser events, there are awareness meetings and festivals to donate actual money to families. An alternative would be to support many hospitals that obviously have to combat illnesses and infections, and they will use donations to keep families from paying money while going through hard times in the hospital. Many awareness-spreading events could be beneficial for the less fortunate people.

References

Capone et al. Water and Sanitation in Urban America, 2017-2019. Am J Public Health. 2020 Oct;110(10):1567-1572. doi: 10.2105/AJPH.2020.305833. Epub 2020 Aug 20. PMID: 32816545; PMCID: PMC7483119.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2022, June 15). Keeping hands

clean. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Retrieved September 18,

2022, from https://www.cdc.gov/hygiene/personal-hygiene/hands.html

Giving everyone the opportunity for a long and Healthy Life. FVL. (n.d.).

Retrieved September 18, 2022, from https://www.createcures.org/

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