Learned Reflexes Vs Innate Reflexes

What is the difference between innate reflexes and learned reflexes?

An Innate Reflex is one that you have no choice over, it is a natural unlearned response to a stimulus, for example the pupil in the eye ball resizing in adjustment to light or a knee jerk in response to getting hit by a hammer, or goose bumps in the cold.
 Learned Reflexes are association related. For example, beginning to salivate when smelling food, or the sound of a bell as seen in studied.

While both forms of reflexes show success to survival, the innate reflexes, like the gag reflex to stop you from choking, are life essential, or the automatic response to jerk away from items that are too hot or to drop them in our attempt to remove ourselves from the exposure to pain.


Introducing Flower Essences

The other day my friend was making fun of me since I drive in bare feet and was calling me a hippy and telling me it was illegal. WHICH IS A LIE! I googled it, and we all know google doesn’t lie….Anyway so I decided to make a more ‘hippy’ themed post about the amazing things that are classified as Flower Essences.

Flower Essences can be explained bluntly as the process of putting flowers in water, taking them out and mixing that flower water with brandy, but that doesn’t mean anything.
Flower essences affect the body on a mental and emotional level, They are said to work Physically – filtering down into mental aspect. Or work on a mind state and filter down to the physical. Each flower symbolises something and will treat a different symptom. For example the way that flowers are categorised can be by colour, shape, number of petals, all of these factors allude to what they treat.

Flower Essences are produced by imprinting a flower’s unique vibrational healing signature onto the carrier solution and are used to treat imbalances at a higher level, bringing about emotional and spiritual balance and well being in the whole person (ABFE. ND).

Vague example of Bach Flower Remedies:

Dr Edward Bach, 1886-1936, studied medicine and worked in immunology and bacteriology before learning about Homeopathy. From here he started to match the disharmonious states of health to bacteria – specifically mental and emotional conditions that manifest as physical illness.

1930-1936 – The discovery of the flower essences that we use today.

It is thought that the subtle energy from the vibrations of these flower essences are used to realign the emotions that are causing dysfunction. By increasing alignment, greater harmony could occur within the individual as physical aspect combine with the energy – emotional and mental aspect of higher self.

Treatment is very easy since Bach has separated the types so that treatment can be given efficiently. There are 38 Bach Essence Remedies, which restore physical health through correction of underlying emotions.

  • Fear:
    Aspen, Cherry Plum, Mimulus,  Red Chestnut and Rock Rose
  • Uncertainty:

    Cerato, Gentian, Gorse, Hornbeam, Scleranthus and Wild Oat

  • Lack of Interest:

    Chestnut Bud, Clematis, Honeysuckle, Olive, White Chestnut and Wild Rose

  • Loneliness:
    Heather, Impatiens and Water Violet
  • Oversensitivity:
    Agrimony, Centaury, Holly and Walnut
  • Depression/Anguish:
    Crab Apple, Elm, Larch, Mustard, Oak, Pine, Star of Bethlehem, Sweet Chestnut and Willow
  • Worry:
    Beech, Chicory, RockWater, Vervain and Vine.

Australian Bush Flowers Essences (ABFE), ND, Ian White http://ausflowers.com.au/Teachers/Teacher-Ian-White accessed Nov 2013

Bach Center, 2007, The 38 Flower Remedies, Wigmore Publications Ltd, London, Great Britain

Bach Center, ND, http://www.bachcentre.com/centre/select.htm viewed 26 November 2013

The Six Basic Life Processes – Anatomy and Physiology

The Six Basic Life Processes

  1. Metabolism
  2. Responsiveness
  3. Movement
  4. Growth
  5. Differentiation
  6. Reproduction

What would happen if there was a loss of one basic life process?

What would the impact on your Health, Daily Lifestyle and Activities be ?

The results of lacking one of the six basic life processes would be catastrophic to the life and health of the individual. These 6 are the characteristics that distinguish living from non living. While the 6 basic life processes change over a life span, without exchanging materials between cells, catabolism, anabolism and the other basic life principals, the loss of one would cause death as they all work together inside humans. Death by naturally progressing old age or cancer can show the effects that occur when some of the 6 basic life processes start degenerating or losing effectiveness.


Whats New?

Hey stranger! Yes, You with the face!

I don’t feel like I need to explain where my missing posts are, but I kind of want to. If you guys are old faithfuls you may remember that I am going to the states for a month, followed by China for two months. Well it is all happening this week. (Not the traveling before you freak). I am turing 21. I know big happy birthday to me. To be honest this is not where I ever saw myself. As a kid I always had this idea that I would be:

  • always happy and always laughing
  • lively
  • with long hair
  • with brown hair rather than the awkward grey streak that I like so much
  • excited to be legal to drink in every country
  • deciding what type of swimsuit to buy (when ever I thought about this I was usually in the pool/ocean)
  • not worrying about bills
  • living alone or with girlfriends
  • have a lover
  • considering traveling to Ireland or Norway (I liked vikings, and even Japan once I was 14 was on the cards)

What really happened:

  • Happy sometimes, laughing less
  • stressed out
  • a university drop out (technically it is true even though I am a second year in another degree)
  • living at home, and happy to stay so I don’t have to move in with my wonderful boyfriend
  • I have a wonderful boyfriend who I don’t love
  • in pain (knees and back) constantly
  • traveling to 4 Countries in one year
  • I am well adapted to internet dating
  • preparing for two long overseas trips in one year
  • got an internship  (ps guys I got accepted into an internship in china… for 6 months in 2015, scroll down for info)
  • I can’t drink alcohol because I have no self control once I start
  • been on and off antidepressants  (this may be due to the whole happy thing)
  • I’m in love with a butcher who I see everyday (scroll down for details)

Anyway as you can see I actually found out, life is not what you expect it to be. But even though there are crap days, I am happy.

So today was one of those crap days… I mean the day went well… I’m just in a odd mood.
I saw my grandmother for a few hours after sitting in traffic for 2 hours, I saw my oldest cousin who I love, I got a facial, I bought stuff (a bunch of stuff I don’t need, but will use), had 2 hours of counselling for no reason, called the air-con man, sat in traffic for a further two hours, saw my aunt and my youngest cousin, imparted advice on herbs, drank a coffee (which made me feel SOOOOO sick), came home to an empty house (my mum was in cuba for over a month, and now that she is back I talk to her less than when she was away. I get up at 5am  for uni and go to bed at 8:30pm, she gets up at 11am for work and gets home at 11. sadly we are like ships passing in the night), spoke to the bank for an hour, and spent about 3 hours emailing the internship place about documents, tests, medical forms and insurance, But I went to the butchers and that made me smile.

Ok so the deal about me going to China for 6 months

I applied for an internship and I was accepted = win for me

My dad doesn’t want me to go because of what happened when I studied in the UK for a year, and got his lawyer to call me and make me change my mind (which I didn’t) *insert whiny tantrum* anyway it’s just a little hard to cope with all the forms, payments (I know I thought because it was an internship I wouldn’t have to pay- but I still have to pay for flights and insurance),insurance and health checks. So I am getting a little stressed a little snappy and a little sulky.


Last monday I volunteered for an acupuncture class to be a case study on my knee, as you know I complain about a lot of things (I only have a few things but they are the only things I talk about), and my knee pain is one of them, if you don’t remember I did it while I was in spain last year and I have had constant knee pain and swelling since. t I used a walking stick and took pregnizone steroids as treatment until I was back, the left knee began to cause pain as compensation. After numerous physio appointments, after doing a few exercises religiously and the ultrasound pusation treatment the pain died down to a manageable level. Since then my knee has always been puffy and only becomes red and gets worse after running or walking long distances, ice was used as treatment every night up from July 18th until Jan, then ice and pregnizone only during flare ups once a month up untul the 4th of May. BUT THEN I HAD ACUPUNCTURE!  And just like that the swelling went down and so did the pain that I forgot I even had, which was great! until it came back, that was bad. But with regular appointments I can keep it under control. I must admit I was dancing around – probably over doing it, but how do you tell someone that they have made your life a billion times better. A weight was lifted, not a physical weight, but that was one less thing for my brain to have to deal with, especially after the session the lecturer pulled me aside and told me to go an see my GP, as the questions from the consultation had ended up sounding a lot like I had undiagnosed diabetes. Add having to control diabetes with diet to a gluten allergy and I was probably going to lose my place in the internship (they feed you as part of it).  Lets just say I was a little stressed.
So like a good like health science student I went to my doctor and told her the same deal and gave her some forms for the medical, turns out the internship needed a full physical. *Awesome*
A few puncture marks later we are at a week later and I am typing away sitting at home in the dark (because I am too lazy to get up and turn the lights on), I get my blood test results tomorrow, so fingers crossed for no diabetes.

Am I Good Enough ?

As most people.. or rather like most people who worry about if they meet other peoples standards (I personally do not count myself as one of those people usually), these waves of emotions often occur after someone tells you that:

  • “You aren’t any good”
  • “You won’t be good at …..”
  • “You should just give up”

Well this week has been breaking point.. or rather annoyance breaking point. After having multiple family members that I am making a terrible mistake in doing the internship and having a close friend (LB), who I am starting to think is less of a friend, tell me that I will suck at the job (LB is studying that field at University), I can’t help but feel a little doubtful. I don’t really want to face the ‘told you so’s’ of the people I would normally consider telling my doubts to. While I am considered a ‘spur of the moment’ kind of gal by my family and a little reckless by my friends I feel as if all the doubts in my mind have come from all this negativity and it is because they are forcing it out into the universe. So I think that while there is so much negativity from people I care about it is just misguided concern and worry more about what will happen to them rather than what will happen to me.

Butcher Boys

When ever I say this out loud I automatically thing of some bank robbers raging through america in the 40s. But in actual fact I just mean these two guys who work at the butcher shop.
Pretty Face and Eyebrows, as I call them.  You can guess why they have their names.

Pretty Face and Eyebrows came into my life exactly a month ago, I went to the butchers to buy cat food, or as normal people call it, chicken. And guess who severed me? Pretty Face. I know right! I ended up getting so flustered that when he asked me some questions I completely forgot who I was, why I was there and how to talk. I wish I was kidding, I must have stood there for about 14 seconds like a stunned mullet.

Our conversations went a little like:

hey there, what can I get you?”


and he just smiled at me (of course this happens a lot to the poor guy)

“I… I…” and by this time I was red in the face “A single chicken breast….”

“Sure thing. How was your day?”

“It was good” awkward pause, “Has it been a long day?”

“Yeah, Here’s your chicken, thats $3.20”

Yeah thats exactly what happened, but lucky for me… or unlucky for me, Eyebrows snatched me as his customer the next day when I went back, because of course I went back. And I have gone every single day rain, hail or shine… sometimes 2 times a day.

Now that I have typed that, I am beginning to think that is kind of creepy. But my point is that they are the nicest guys in the world. Each time I go, I learn more about them. Although on the rare days that Eyebrows has off, Pretty Face serves me and I always get flustered. But the highlight of my day is seeing Eyebrows, pretty pathetic I know, especially when I have a boyfriend. And today believe it or not was the first time I didn’t buy anything from them, I still went to the shops after running around and having a little cry over how confusing travel insurance is, but sadly they were packed up so I waved as usual and did the rest of my shopping.


You’re 21 today

My birthday is not for a few more days thank god but I have noticed that as I have gotten older my circle of friends expanded and contracted. I’m chasing up old friends who never RSVPed to invitations to find them changed and different – to be expected. But the feelings that we used to be so close and now aren’t is very difficult. but more interestingly than anything. I always assumed I would have a huge birthday for my 21st, but with my parents divorced, it has resulted in two celebrations, which anyone would be thrilled with… Just not me.

With my parents family and friends making up 40 people each at these parties I feel almost embarrassed by my small circle of friends who I have come to see are the ones worth keeping. Not embarrassed by the people, but the number. When I have always organised things in the past, 30 people I invited, all with +1 would turn up, but now that I need confirmation on attendance the number has shrunk to 1/4. It is an odd feeling that I haven’t decided how to interpret.
All I wanted was to see all the people I love, maybe have a bbq in a park, but my parents have both other ideas. With out of state family members flying in, it seems a little over the top. But as I have assumed this whole time, as my dad says, “It is my Party, it is just your birthday”, which is fair enough, he is paying for it. But perhaps the point is that I didn’t want anything fancy or expensive. Just a few friends and family all together. After thinking about it (which is something I don’t do too often) I realised that it is more for him, to say that he is doing ok. And if that means he is ok, then that’s ok.


Renting my room

I feel like this is probably the biggest stress, between my current obsession of keeping up with the following tv shows:

  • Game of Thrones
  • Supernatural
  • Awkward
  • The Mindy Project
  • watching all the old alias episodes starting from season one

Studying, forgetting to practice my Mandarin, going to the butchers, trying to sleep, planing my two months in china and dealing with my internship. I am also renting out my room…

I feel like instead of moving out I am revering back to my minimal phase, (you can read a bunch of my posts on that HERE, HERE and HERE) which I had kicked to the kerb as I brought back stress and material lusts into my life. I think the reason why I am cutting down is that I will be gone for 9 months over the next 12 months. It may not sound like a lot to you but I think that if I can keep the majority of my things here I won’t really have ‘moved out’. It isn’t that big of a deal, but the idea of having to move all my favourite things to my boyfriends house and leave them there is a little upsetting. I would rather keep a backpack full of things at my parents homes.

So instead of working on my Pathology assignment like I was supposed to on the weekend I painted my furniture and went through things… So far I have come to the realisation that I do not need 465 books in total and have since give 236 of them to the church next door (I don’t even know if they will want some of them). the remaining 200 something I have written my name inside the cover and will proceed to lend them to people, making a list of their new homes for the next year.

As for my objects, the two flutes I swore I would play every day, the mountains of textbooks I need to keep for when I eventually go into practice, the Crystal Ball I got for my 19th Birthday, my frog collection I managed to salvage, the rock and stones I collected and *hid* in the garden so I wouldn’t have to include them in my original purge are all on gumtree waiting to find homes.

But back to the point after my rambling, I am getting rid of things so that I can still keep the majority of my things, in a backpack in the hall cupboard. Originally I was going to move in with le boyfriend for the few months, I even think I may have mentioned it in an old post, but thankfully I came to my sense and realised He was not the one.
Not the one for me to be immature to. He is ready to settle down and get married… and well me… I’m daydreaming about butchers. The question is, do I ruin our trip to China or let him have a great time.

While most people may say that they would rather know sooner rather than later, wouldn’t you rather enjoy a months holiday with someone you like (and don’t want to strangle)? than be trapped with someone you hate for an entire month or lose a bunch of money over?

I actually think I would rather know after, or down the track. but you never know I may fall in love with him yet.

Am I turning into ‘that girl’, who is a bad person?

To me ‘that girl’ is not an ‘it girl’ it is not a good thing. It is that friend who:

  • exaggerates how well they know someone (I recently found myself doing this and felt horrible after: A friend of mine (LB)works with another friend’s(MK)  friend(JQ), I have never met JQ, but because LB and  MK always talk about them I felt like I knew them, I know right! CRAZY WEIRD, I actually want to kick myself . So when Lb would mention JQ I always referenced them by the nick name MK called them, even though I had never met them)
  • is a bitch about getting her own way (I wouldn’t necessarily tick this box for myself, it is more: I know best and I already tried it your way but I don’t want to admit that the first time I tried it wasn’t right)
  • doesn’t apologies when they did something wrong (I don’t feel this applies to me)
  • Is a bitch to other people (I didn’t really ever think I was unlikable until: POW, I met a LB’s work college who I spoke to for 5 minutes (LB constantly complains about how much this person teases them in a not friendly way), and they told LB that they didn’t like me. I was shocked at first and a little hurt… then I realised they had every reason to not like me. I wasn’t nice to them and I made them feel inferior (I felt so terrible about that when I got home so I don’t think I have quiet reached the trampling on peoples feelings stage without caring, but I was shocked to realise I had let it get that far).
  • is mean or says hurtful things about others (Tick! again this has to do with LB, it’s not like I am blaming them for me acting like a horrible person, but for some reason I  guess I just realise it more when I am around LB (- LB is a really nice person, she loved to cook and clean, never done drugs, has only just started to start drinking alcohol, never had a boyfriend/kissed a boy – I think the reason I am acting like such a nasty person is because I am jealous of how ‘together’ she is) Again I have never met the person which  I insulted (it was a misunderstanding but I will explain what happened and you can hate me a little and unsubscribe if you managed to read through this long long post), and what makes me feel worse is that I didn’t mean it like an insult, the story is, LB had the biggest crush on CT, CT works with LBs brother and wasn’t interested in LB when I first told her to let him know she liked him (my bad, but I thought it was the best idea at the time, this was 6 months ago) since then she has wallowed on and off about him and was complaining about how he was flirting with her on and off-( now I am not saying that he wasn’t flirting, but I took a shot in the dark that maybe he just wasn’t interested,). She would go on and on about how everyone her brother worked with would tease CT about not having a Girlfriend, and constantly brought up that CTs workmates would often call her his girlfriend as a joke, rather than hurt LBs feeling by this as this was the first guy she liked, I just gave a few reasons that maybe he wasn’t interested in her, 1. maybe he was seeing someone already, 2. maybe he just didn’t want a girlfriend or to date 3. maybe he was gay – and I really didn’t mean it in a bad way, although now I feel terrible about it, because her brother heard me and promptly told CT the next day, which spread through the workplace like wildfire that LB’s friend (me ) had said that, I thought it would just blow over but it turns out that has been a topic on which CT had been harassed about before. 4. Maybe Ct was not interested in Lb because he was friends with her brother. ( What LB told me next made me feel worse  than ( 1. if finding out something you said had gotten back to the person you said it about and 2. Having it be a topic that CT was bullied on int he past ) Apparently she had tried to defend what I said by explaining  what she interpreted as ‘he looked gay’ (while that wasn’t what I said I am angry that what I said was absorbed like that. And I didn’t mean it in a stereotypical fashion – which right now I am finding it hard to explain how I meant it – but I’ll just point out that I had never actually met this person either) and I conclude that while it was a HUGE misunderstanding I feel terrible that I could have made someone feel bad about their self image).

So after that long winded post about nothing and everything bad I have done in the last month, Thank you for reading my tale of misunderstandings and having things interpreted differently.

Perhaps you:

  • Have a few experiences where your misunderstandings or things that you have said have come back to bite you in the ass?
  • Have a friend who is more an arch enemy than friend?
  • Have anything you feel is interesting? Because god knows I have no filter when I write

so leave a comment below!


Also I really  forgot to mention the most important part: I have Finals. But on the bright side you guys will get to see all my notes on case studies I have done either as practice/ prep for exams/assignments.


What Should I Be thinking about? – Health

Good Evening Everyone!

After just coming down with a bug, I realized how side tracked I get from looking after myself.

When I’m not at Work, I am at University, and when I am not at those two places I am studying or trying to have a social life.

I must admit, a girlfriend of mine from high school, who I used to rarely see, just broke up with her boyfriend and cam running back into my life wanting attention which I made time for, sacrificing My daily exercise and earlier bed time for. Anyway Over the summer I was working 6 days a week, around 10 hour days, and taking two online classes, Now I am back at University more than full time, taking 6 classes  and working two days a week.

So even though I am strapped for time, now that I am sick and the work is in mountains here are some things you should know about.

1. In Defense of Food by Michael Pollan.

You can check it out HERE. Ok, so why should you check it out?
In my degree, my classmates are constantly telling me that certain foods are bad. And if you listen to talk shows or ‘Health’ podcasts there is a lot of conjecture thrown around. I am just speaking for myself but I have noticed a lot of people I know developing food anxiety. They get so freaked out that everything will kill them or give them cancer. Now these people have me to tell them that their food is fine to eat and that they aren’t going to die from not eating a superfood, you guys don’t.  Michael Pollans book is something I recommend you take a  peek at.

Dont get me wrong, I’m not saying you can eat what ever you want.  I’m saying eat and drink in moderation,  avoid processed foods when you can, but don’t let fear stop you from eating your dairy or meat products.

2. Chemical Maze 

This is  an App you can get on your phone or a book. Check it out HERE. Why do we love it?
I love it because I always read the ingredients and as much fun as playing the game of  ‘Guess what the Numbers mean’ is, I can actually find out what it is, what it causes and how it is used. In my 30 minute break on Monday between classes I ran down to 7/11 to buy an apple, and I just happened to pick up a packet of corn chips and read the ingredients list. I looked at Mission and was impressed, there was like 4-5 ingredients (and it is gf) then I looked at a packet the same size of Doritos… HOLY CRAP! I dare you to read the ingredients and look them up on Chemical Maze.

3. Shop Ethical 

It is an App, click HERE, Why do we dig this?
OK so this isn’t necessary for everyone to check out, but if you are one of those people who cares that their eggs are free range and not just because they are bigger, this is the app for you. Shopping at the supermarket is hard right? Well for people who stay awake at night wondering if your sheets were made ethically LOOK NO FURTHER. 

4. Slow Death By Rubber Duck

This is possibly the number 1 thing I am buying for anyone who likes science. A friend of mine who is doing a science degree, has taken a year off to started a Internship. And what does she get to do? She analyses the toxicity of uses of things like tattoo ink or hair dye. Things that a lot of people have a repeat expose to. Once you start you sometimes don’t stop.
You can check out the book HERE. Now you may ask why I included my anecdote about my friend, well that is simple, this book looks at the effects of repeat expose to everyday items and how it effects our health.

5. Chemical Time Bomb 4 Corners Report.

Why am I looking at this?
Because you want to be aware and not stick your head in the sand.
You can access it HERE. After watching it you may feel a little more inclined to choose Organic Food when you can.


NOW IT IS YOUR TURN TO DO YOUR OWN RESEARCH, Here are some things you may want to take a look at. And remmeber just because you read it does not make it true. When doing a google search, I advise you to use google scholar. 

6.Soak Liver in Vinegar. Is Liver the new Super food

7. Check Out Bliss Balls

8. Jambu – Natural tooth ache treatment and Digestive aid 

Please read up on it before you consume it.

9. Why should you eat your greens rather than add them to smoothies.

Kidney Stones and Oxalic Acid

Here are some sites to make up your own mind : HERE and HERE and HERE and HERE. Just remember only one of these sites is a government Health sites. I encourage you to do your own digging on google scholar and actually read the article. Please don’t believe everything you read on a website. Here are some articles if you are too lazy to do it yourself.
Article 1, Article 2 and Article 3.

10. Phytic Acid – Why we soak Legumes and Grains and use Fermentation 



On the morning of March 11, the Texas Department of Health (TDH) in Austin received a

telephone call from a student at a university in south-central Texas. The student reported that he and his roommate, a fraternity brother, were suffering from nausea, vomiting, and diarrhoea. Both had become ill during the night. The roommate had taken an over-the-counter medication with some relief of his symptoms. Neither the student nor his roommate had seen a physician or gone to the emergency room. The students believed their illness was due to food they had eaten at a local pizzeria the previous night. They asked if they should attend classes and take a biology midterm exam that was scheduled that afternoon. a. In recording a complaint about a possible foodborne illness, it is important to systematically collect some information.


What would you ask the student?

  • When had the “suspect pizza” been consumed?
  • At What time during the night did symptoms start displaying?
  • Did both boys consume the exact same food in the last 24 hours?
  • What had they eaten in the past 24 hours?
  • Who have you been in contact with the last 24 hours
  • What are the exact symptoms?
  • Had anyone they been in contact with also become sick with the same symptoms?
  • Where else had they been in the last 24 hours?



TDH staffs were sceptical of the student’s report but felt that a minimal amount of exploration was necessary. They began by making a few telephone calls to establish the facts and determine if other persons were similarly affected. The pizzeria, where the student and his roommate had eaten, was closed until 11:00 A.M. There was no answer at the University Student Health Centre, so a message was left on its answering machine. A call to the emergency room at a local hospital (Hospital A) revealed that 23 university students had been seen for acute gastroenteritis in the last 24 hours. In contrast, only three patients had been seen at the emergency room for similar symptoms from March 5-9, none of whom were associated with the university. At 10:30 A.M., the physician from the University Student Health Centre returned the call from TDH and reported that 20 students with vomiting and diarrhoea had been seen the previous day. He believed only 1-2 students typically would have been seen for these symptoms in a week. The Health Centre had not collected stool specimens from any of the ill students.


Is this an outbreak at the university?


Yes, the definition of an outbreak is an increase of the number of cases over a period of time that is greater than those anticipated. For example, in the information above, the physician “believed that only 1-2 students typically would have been seen for these symptoms in a week” the fact being that 23 Students had been into the emergency room in the last 24 hours. The outbreak should be further investigated as it is unknown if the outbreak could affect the whole community or just the university students who have come forward with symptoms.



On the afternoon of March 11, TDH staff visited the emergency room at Hospital A and

reviewed medical records of patients seen at the facility for vomiting and/or diarrhoea since March 5. Based on these records, symptoms among the 23 students included vomiting (91%), diarrhoea (85%), abdominal cramping (68%), headache (66%), muscle aches (49%), and bloody diarrhoea (5%). Oral temperatures ranged from 98.8/F (37.1/C) to 102.4/F (39.1/C) (median: 100/F [37.8/C]). Complete blood counts, performed on 10 students, showed an increase in white blood cells (median count: 13.7 per cubic mm with 82% polymorphonuclear cells, 6% lymphocytes, and 7% bands). Stool specimens  had been submitted for routine bacterial pathogens, but no results were available.


How might you narrow the range of agents  suspected of causing the gastrointestinal illness?

Narrowing down what all 23 students have in common would be the first port of call:

The signs and symptoms displayed, the incubation period, where they ate, if they live at the same complex if they have the same water source, laboratory testing of samples of the blood, diarrhoea and vomiting need to be taken, if they attend the same cafeteria, If they use the same stair well. Because Gastro can be transmitted through contact from hands, food, water, surfaces and objects when contaminated with faeces or vomit, these 23 people may have used the same door handle, or the same public computer, all it takes is for one person not to wash their hands. According to the Queensland Health fact sheet, Particles in the air after a vomiting attack can transmit gastro also.



By March 12, seventy-five persons with vomiting or diarrhoea had been reported to TDH. All were students who lived on the university campus. No cases were identified among university faculty or staff or from the local community. Except for one case, the dates of illness onset were March 9-12. (Figure 1) The median age of patients was 19 years (range: 18-22 years), 69% were freshman, and 62% were female.

Figure 1. Onset of gastroenteritis among students, University X, Texas, March 1998. (N=72) (Date of onset was not known for three ill students.)


What would you include in discussions with university officials?

In the discussion with the University Officials, It would be advisable to mention it seems to be confined to the University aside from one community member who is displaying the same symptoms. Talk of the contamination place would be priority, the water supply  is municipal as is the sewage, and there has been no breaks in the lines or any roadwork done in the area. Contamination could have spread through food, so the dining establishments on campus would have to be considered and where all of their food come from as well as the hygiene of the staff members who work there. Contact with animals should be looked at as well as the common places which all students who are affected have visited.





The university is located in a small Texas town with a population of 27,354. For the spring semester, the university had an enrolment of approximately 12,000 students; 2,386 students live on campus at one of the 36 residential halls scattered across the 200+ acres of the main campus. About 75% of the students are Texas residents. The university uses municipal water and sewage services. There have been no breaks or work on water or sewage lines in the past year. There has been no recent road work or digging around campus. The campus dining service includes two cafeterias managed by the same company and about half a dozen fast food establishments; about 2,000 students belong to the university meal plan which is limited to persons living on campus. Most on-campus students dine at the main cafeteria which serves hot entrees, as well as items from the grill, deli bar, and a salad bar. A second smaller cafeteria on campus offers menu selections with a per item cost and is also accessible to meal plan members. In contrast to the main cafeteria, the smaller cafeteria tends to be used by students who live off campus and university staff. The smaller cafeteria also offers hot entrees, grilled foods, and a salad bar, but has no deli bar. Spring break is to begin on March 13 at which time all dining services will cease until March 23. Although many students will leave town during the break, it is anticipated that about a quarter of those living on campus will remain.




The signs and Symptoms that are displayed among students all consistent with an acute gastroenteritis infection, the vomiting  in 91% of the affected as well as diarrhoea, abdominal cramping headache, muscle aches, and bloody diarrhoea accompanying in some infected. Blood counts, performed on 10 students, showed an increase in white blood cells, which are known for their ability to fight infection in the form of a bacteria or virus. While incubation period and test results of the samples are still unknown, the peak in cases suggests it was a short incubation period. As the gastro is limited to only university students living on campus, and both the water and sewage systems are used also by the community – which infers that the public in the community would also be ill, so it cannot be due to this. From the selection of infected people who all live on campus, it is plausible that they all have a meal plan and since no staff or off campus students eat at the main campus canteen, the contamination may very well have come from the main canteen in the transmission of contaminated food.  Since not everyone who ate there became sick, it is plausible to allow the fact that the food handler involved serving the students who have become infected, could have been the cause of the contamination.

Therefore the leading hypothesis is that the students were infected from contaminated food at the main canteen.




Reference List :

Selectivity and Acculturation’, Anderson, Bulatao and Cohen’s  Critical Perspectives on Racial and Ethnic Differences in Health in Late Life, Council, Washington DC: The National Academies Press. Viewed on the 23rd of May.




Difference  between Incidence, Prevalence and Occurrence?


  • Incidence of a disease:  is the number of new cases of the disease in a specific time frame. These figures are used to predict if the amount of cases are increasing or decreasing. A disease is classified according to their incidence in our society.
  • Prevalence of a disease: is the number of infected people at the one time, covering both old and new cases at that time. The function of this is to show periodic fluctuation or trends over time.
  • Occurrence of a disease: is how many times the diseases occurs.



Examples of factors that might cause persons to migrate.


Factors that would influence a person to migrate may vary, depending on where they live. In some 3rd world countries it can be “for a shot at a better life” or in countries where violence is occurring, it can be to escape this. In some cases it can be due to work or a lust to travel. As Migrants, people are vectors and can carry disease from one confined state to another. This can cause problems for the people who have not had contact with it before as they have no immunity to it.


What is meant by the term population at risk?

The term “Population at risk” from Moby’s Dictionary is referring to a group of people who share a common characteristic that causes them to be potentially subject to a specific risk,.  In this case the risk may be illness, for example, the elderly or those who suffer from immune deficiencies, like HIV, are more at risk to pneumonia because their immune system is weakened more so than the average person who would be able to fight it off in it’s earlier stages.  



The major steps necessary to investigate the possible outbreak of an epidemic.


Epidemics occur when there are sudden increases in frequency above endemic levels, Hyperendemic. An outbreak is defined when the amount of cases of the disease is bigger than the number expected at given point of time or location.

In order to identify an outbreak of a disease, you need to know the statistics. Secular or Periodic Trends which map out the changes over a period of time are used in conjunction with surveillance, Epidemiological studies and mathematical modelling in order to predict the future outbreaks.

  • Who the disease affects,
  • Time of the year (Seasonal trends must be monitored to predict the chance of an epidemic occurring).
  • Sign and symptoms are.
  • Method of transmission
  • Recovery time and length of incubation period,