Venezuela Faces the Return of Forgotten Diseases
by J. G. Martinez D.
Dear fellows, I want to tell a little story of this last week.
My son had a rash in his little armpits and other parts. So his mom took him to the doctor, within walking distance from our subdivision (our SUV is still busted). After the subsequent blood test (according to my wife it was a real spectacle. He is a strong kid and a task force between my wife, the doctor and a nurse was needed to get the blood sample…well at least we know he is able to defend himself.) The lab result (freaking expensive because the reactants are scarce) was salmonella.
I started to worry a lot, as it is logical. That was Thursday. I got immediately into fast-forward mode, and found the money, while I was extremely concerned about the availability of the needed antibiotics. My wife woke up early, and with a neighbor in his car went with the kiddo to the pharmacy. After visiting two pharmacies with negative results, they headed up to a state-owned pharmacy next to the state hospital, controlled by Cubans or party members, who betray the hospital personnel that dares to report malnutrition deaths or similar events. This is happening.
She was finally able to find the medicines on Saturday morning, at a really inflated price, but the neighbor works for an official government, with a flash of his badge she could buy them without the employees giving it a second look.
I emailed a copy of the doctor’s report to Daisy, so she can confirm my history for those who feel the need to do so.
To me, this was a major achievement under the actual circumstances. I used some of the money from your donations, to exchange it for the needed Bolivares to buy the medications, but the important thing to note here is that they were found. And that is not easy in this country.
Forgotten diseases are returning
Recent reports from these last few days have been, for someone who understands the importance of the endemic diseases that had been under control, spreading quickly.
I am talking about serious stuff: Tuberculosis, Diptheria, Leishmaniasis. There have been adults and children who died because of these things. The diseases themselves, under normal conditions can be healed. But without the appropriate medications and proper nutrition, they become deadly.
One of the worst endemic diseases that has been reported (this information arrived via social networking from confirmed, known sources) is Leishmaniasis. This is a parasite to which you should pay a lot of attention. With the lack of proper balanced feeding, a person’s natural defenses get lower, and it is much easier for them to get sick.
Traditionally there were programs all over the country to fumigate and keep the vectors under control. However, the last fumigation was a long time ago and this allowed the vectors to spread themselves again, reaching densely populated areas, and now without any modern medication to contain it.
Rodents, canines, are affected too. The main transmission vector is the mosquito, and their first manifestation is a skin lesion in the place of the bite. There are several forms of the disease, and most of them are deadly. This is a disease associated with the malnourishment, population displacement, poor living conditions, weak immune systems, and a general lack of resources. This is the exact scenario we have been living through and the description of an SHTF situation. It affects the liver and has permanent consequences if not treated properly.
Another disease we have present in our area is the Ehrlichiosis, a tropical variation of Lyme disease. Fortunately, we could find the antibiotics for this as well, but of course at incredible prices. Thankfully with a 2nd income, it could be obtained. My wife got better after weeks of feeling sick once we knew what it was.
In a funny side note, we had to go to a veterinary lab, as it was the only one in town that was able to do such testing. This gave me floor for a LOT of imaginative, creative jokes to her. Lol.
We used the recipes to buy some extra blisters packs of medication, just in case, for our medicine box will be donated once the family can come with me.
Another disease that had an incredible increase is tuberculosis. It is known that tuberculosis is linked to malnutrition (source) and it is becoming increasingly widespread in Venezuela. As it is more or less known, improper nutrition is the main cause of this once-eradicated sickness in Venezuela. The cases were very few, and widely spread, mainly among drug addicts, homeless people, or even patients of psychiatric hospitals. This is a bacteria, and the infection damage is located especially in lungs.
A weakened immune system makes it easy for the disease to take hold. There are a lot of ways to prevent our defenses from getting too low, but proper nutrition is the best prevention. Whole foods, of course, provide more leverage to our immune system than processed foods.
Another important and significant increase has been in the mosquito-transmitted diseases. With the main insecticides factories financially strangled, their production is scarce, and the well-known government mafia takes over whatever they can.
Finding a can of insecticide is not easy. This is another item that should be stockpiled. It is not going to lose efficiency. I could afford to buy a fumigation machine, able to provide a clouding of droplets with a very small size, the needed size to float in the air for hours (I don´t remember how many microns, I think about 0.5 or so). It is useful for house fumigation as well as greenhouse or crops, despite being electrical. It does not use a heating element, so it is much more simple to maintain and fix, and this allows to use a wider variety of insecticides that do not need to be burned to remain as a cloud for keeping their effectiveness.
Our recent experience with salmonella last week opened our eyes to how bad sanitation conditions have become. Of course, this is to be expected. There are no cleaning products at affordable prices, and therefore the hygiene decreases significantly, and salmonella is a disease very closely linked to hygiene.
According to my research for this article, salmonella can be transmitted by infected hens, even before teggshellell is formed, and this seemed to us something very likely because the chicken farmers can’t afford the mandatory vaccines or medications for the animals.
Another salmonella infection source is raw poultry. We noticed that in the place we buy our fresh poultry and cheese, these are stored in the same freezer. This is not what we could call ideally sanitary, but it is our first time facing such an illness.
According to our doctor, that same day there were 2 other cases of salmonella before our son. This is alarming, to me. Never had seen even one case, except very rare instances, and suddenly three persons in a row in a doctor’s office?
This is highly suspicious, at a minimum.
What can we do given that we are not regular people but preppers?
My first thought is, given that the readers are spread worldwide, is research what diseases are endemic to your area. Statiscally speaking, the probability of picking up a disease that is not typical of your region should be low.
Once the hazard your group maybe exposed to is identified, then proceed with the neutralization measures by finding out which medications would be needed if the normal supply is no longer available.
Some prepper-friendly doctor could extend the needed prescriptions, and your stashed medicines would be one of the stuff that should be already in your secluded BOL, under the proper conditions. [Alternatively, if you can’t get those, look for herbal remedies you can create yourself – this book is a reference every prepper should own ~ Daisy]
Given what we have experienced, I would not try to save money on this issue. It will be worth every penny if you need it. Oh, and I don’t work or have any relationship with any medical company other than swallowing their stuff from time to time if needed.
This said, I would calculate, depending on the medical history of the family (for example, urinary infections, bacterial stomach infections like amoebas in my case) and the endemic disease information, then go about stockpiling two complete treatments a year, for each family member.
Other possible treatments could be those for botulism. Some antidote against this toxin should be stockpiled. This is very serious, and the probability of appearing is not because it is endemic, but because of things like decomposing canned food.
Skin burn ointments and other common medications would be needed, too. Our scarcity began about 4 years ago, but mostly because of the inflation. If you have the money, you can find anything you need, even under these conditions.
Therefore, I strongly suggest you find a good, suitable way, optimized for your particular conditions to store wealth.
This is worst case scenario and you may adjust it to your own medical knowledge and location. It would be great to receive comments from people in the know.
I give special thanks to those who have prayed for my family, because your prayers, my fellow preppers, really worked.
I don´t have words to describe how grateful I am for all of you.
We faced this issue, came through the other side almost unharmed, knowing this could have become serious if the medicine were not found, and I am sure your prayers for us were heard…
I don’t have words to thank you. God Bless you all, people!
About the Author
Jose is an upper middle class professional. He is a former worker of the oil state company with a Bachelor’s degree from one of the best national Universities. He has a small 4 members family, plus two cats and a dog. An old but in good shape SUV, a good 150 square meters house in a nice neighborhood, in a small but (formerly) prosperous city with two middle size malls. Jose is a prepper and shares his eyewitness accounts and survival stories from the collapse of his beloved Venezuela. Thanks to your help Jose has gotten his family out of Venezuela. They are currently setting up a new life in another country. paypal.me/JoseM151