Scientific Data Knowledge
We have all heard how the SARS-CoV-2 (COVID) virus (WHO-1) is changing and becoming more virulent. The British strain may be up to 70% more contagious (BBC-2) forcing England to change course; and decide its best to get more vaccines out to more people; than wait for the vaccine supply to be guaranteed that all people can all receive the 2nd dose in the timely studied manner. It has already been established currently COVID vaccines work best at 2 doses. (Washington Post-3) How does that happen? How do viruses learn and change to more aggressive forms? The research is actively being done and time will tell as researchers are more able to understand how did the SARS-CoV2 molecule change and form a plan to attack it the best they can. It may something small like an outer protein change or it could be a DNA change at the center of the virus molecule. So far, they have identified 17 changes to the virus in this more virulent strain.
Bringing this scientific DNA information into the direct firefighting territory, how can we use the knowledge of attacks on DNA into what firefighters deal with every day? This article above talks about how exposures to firefighting can damage DNA in blood cells leading to cancer. They studied 53 healthy firefighters-in- training who volunteered for the study. They had them extinguish either wood alone or wood with electrical cords and mattresses. They found that wearing personal protective equipment (PPE) w self- contained breathing apparatus effectively protected the test subjects against particle inhalation. The Fire Protection Research Foundation is working on studies related to contamination which builds on the growing research on cancer in the fire service.
A 9/11 retired FDNY donated $200,000 to the departments Fired Up for a Cure campaign. Over 10,000 first responders were sickened by 9/11. In part this money is going to American Cancer Society’s Hope Lodge, where FDNY members and families can receive care and support recovering from cancer. Despite the dangers in the firefighting service, there are direct and simple things each fire fighter can do to limit exposure. PPE is all our friends!