What did Henna do?

Hannah could probably have developed a vaccine from Yoko's virus, but even on Earth this takes time and a lot of effort.  On the Station the facilities are available, but the research schedule has other, more important priorities.  The Station Command would not permit such a rescheduling and waste of effort.   She might, however, consider trying to identify the virus, in case it is something more serious, but as Yoko is getting better this might be a waste of effort.

Having influenza vaccine sent on the next re-supply would be pointless, as by then all the crew will most likely have had and recovered from the infection.  Additionally Hannah is not certain that the virus is influenza.  A better plan would be to give each crew member the latest influenza vaccine to them when they return to Earth.

Giving the crew antibiotics is unwise.  Antibiotics do not work against viruses.  Haphazard and uncontrolled use of antibiotics has led to bacteria becoming immune to their effects, and the appearance of so called "super-bugs" such as MRSA and Tuberculosis.  The crew should not be given any unnecessary and ineffective medication.

Hannah decides to do nothing, except treat those who develop the symptoms, with standard treatments, much as you would get from a pharmacist.  She may isolate them for a few days either in their cabins or in the medical facility.  But she decides it is too late to try to stop the infection spreading.

Yoko leaves at 09:50 and I tidy up the medical room before heading off to the Bio-medical Research Laboratory where I can do my real work.  Today I am starting a new project using a bioreactor to see if bacteria or rather archaea can remove heavy metal toxins from sewage waste in space.   This would be useful to us on Space Station 2020 and on long space missions to Mars and beyond.    Contaminants such as mercury and lead cannot be effectively separated from all the water we use.  Over time our water reservoir empties while our wet waste tanks fill.  From time to time we need the water supply to be topped up and the tanks of contaminated water returned to Earth.  This is costly on the Space Station and a severe disadvantage on interplanetary manned missions.

Using microbes, it should be possible to remove all the metal contaminants and store them as solid concentrated waste for reprocessing and reuse.

It is now nearly 13:00.  Henna has been working, without a break for three hours. Should she:

Go for lunch.
Continue working as she is making progress.

Start a new task


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