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BDF Offline
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How do you get sick??? - October 19th 2012, 04:55 PM

OK I need help. This is how I understand that people get sick with an infectious disease, most commonly something like flu. It's what I learned in biology up to AS level, plus some personal experience. I'll use flu throughout, as an example:
_________________________________________________

You don't catch the flu from cold weather. Nor is the flu a symptom of feeling cold. The only frequent symptom of feeling cold is shivering and a runny nose sometimes, and sometimes feeling tired.

You catch the flu by a flu virus being somehow passed onto you, directly or indirectly by another person. Directly, could be something such as someone sneezing at you on a bus. Indirectly, could be someone infected with flu touching an item (such as a doorknob), and you touching it afterwards.

Truth is, viruses and bacteria of all types exist everywhere almost all the time, on anything we touch. Even when you're talking to another person and they're breathing in your direction. Why then don't we get infected all the time, and why aren't we sick permanently? Because of our immune systems.

Our immune systems are one of our main defence systems against illnesses, but they aren't impenetrable. They are mostly resistant to strains (types) of viruses and bacteria that they have already been exposed to. In other words, if you got sick with a certain type of flu once and recovered from it, you are very unlikely to get sick with the same precise type of flu. The problem is, viruses and bacteria evolve very fast, much faster than our immune systems... so there are always new strains which our immune system isn't immune to.

When a person is healthy, and at full strength, getting good sleep, eating well, etc., they're immune system is also in full strength. When a person is weakened for whatever reason, the immune system is also weakened. The only exception to this is when someone is actually sick, and then the immune system goes into "overdrive" to fight the disease. A person can be weakened from things such as: not getting enough sleep, not eating well, dehydration, stress, drugs, cold weather, hot weather.

In the case for cold weather and hot weather (more commonly cold weather). If the surrounding temperature is outside a human body's comfort zone, the human body has to do extra work to adjust its own temperature. This extra work uses energy. This can make people feel tired, and weaker, and therefore also weakens the immune system. Also, sudden temperature changes mean that the human body has to do extra work to adjust itself to those temperatures (for example by altering it's metabolic rate, although never mind that). This also weakens immune system. A weaker immune system, quite simply, doesn't cope with infections and diseases as well as a strong immune system.

This is why lots of people get sick in winter. Because the temperature drops, and our bodies have to do extra work to stay warm. Also, getting used to different weather means you still see some people walking in t-shirts and shorts in 13 degree (Celsius) temperatures in October. Once more people get infected with flu because of weakened immune systems, there are more people to pass the virus on to others. So it escalates around winter, with lots of people getting sick.

_________________________________________________

THE PROBLEM:

The problem is I have lived 3 years in university, on my own, and didn't take orders from anyone. Now I'm living with my mum (the problem) temporarily. She won't listen to me because I'm stupid. She thinks (in her words), that wearing a jumper (for example) provides a physical barrier to diseases and infections, such as the flu. Although this is true, it is so negligible that it should be totally ignored. She is hassling me, nonstop, which recently evolved into a confrontation, because she wants me to wear long sleeved shirts and a jumper, inside the house (because she thinks it provides that "physical barrier"). The temperature inside the house is about 22 degrees Celsius. It could even mean that I'd be overheating, which would weaken my immune system and make me more likely to catch flu... especially if I go outside and experience an even larger temperature difference than I would if I just dressed normally inside.

I don't want to have to shower twice a day to wash the sweat off and dump clean clothes in the washing machine every 6 hours.

I need a link, from some sort of scientific article, magazine, or website, which describes something along the lines of what I did above. Maybe I suck, because I couldn't find something like that. Why do I need a link like that? Because she won't listen to me, because I'm stupid. Maybe if I can shove something in front of her with "PhD" written on it she'l pay attention and piss off. She now wants to get her friends to lecture me on the same thing she's been telling me. Just because 9 out of 10 people say that 2 + 2 is 8, doesn't make it correct. She accuses me of thinking that I know better than her about this and being a wise-ass. The truth is, I do, in fact, know more than she does about this (as hopefully demonstrated).

*************************

And correct me if I'm wrong on anything of what I described about infectious disease. If I omitted some "obvious" things, it's because they're obvious and not necessary.

(P.S. this whole post is sort of also a rant. I'm not batty enough to just write things like this for no reason like I got nothing better to do. Still... this is a real problem.)


"I don't care about politics"
Then politics doesn't care about you either. Truth. You've got to make your voice heard, if you want to be listened to. But that's too logical for some people, so let me go a step further. Not making your voice heard, leaves other people free to hijack it by speaking on your behalf, even if they don't actually give a shit about you. That's politics. So, make your voice heard. That's not a quote from anywhere. That's just me.



Last edited by BDF; October 19th 2012 at 05:09 PM.
   
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Re: How do you get sick??? - October 19th 2012, 05:02 PM

I can get you a PhD on Monday, from school - they'll have no problem writing a webpages on my site for you, and I could link it - if you really needed it.

In the meantime, show her this post:
I can categorically say that extra layers provide no physical barrier against pathogens.


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Re: How do you get sick??? - October 19th 2012, 05:13 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rachael98 View Post
In the meantime, show her this post:
I can categorically say that extra layers provide no physical barrier against pathogens.
I wish that was enough. My mum is not a biggot and she isn't ignorant usually. Which is why this is so f***8king frustrating. She has several degrees, one in economics, one in maths, one in psychology. I really think it's because of those degrees that she sometimes assumes she's right and others are wrong. But what has economics/maths/psychology got to do with biology? What has light got to do with staplers and beach trees? Why is water wet? lol


"I don't care about politics"
Then politics doesn't care about you either. Truth. You've got to make your voice heard, if you want to be listened to. But that's too logical for some people, so let me go a step further. Not making your voice heard, leaves other people free to hijack it by speaking on your behalf, even if they don't actually give a shit about you. That's politics. So, make your voice heard. That's not a quote from anywhere. That's just me.


   
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Re: How do you get sick??? - October 20th 2012, 04:35 AM

hey

Sorry to see that you are having a problem with explaining things like this to your mom. This article i am posting is pretty good and its about the Flu not about other infectious diseases but if you look around this site I am sure you will find articles of any sickness. Hope this helps
http://www.emedicinehealth.com/flu_i...article_em.htm




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