Infectious Diseases and Human Behavior
Medicine has come a long way and villages are no longer sending those suffering from leprosy off to the woods to live because they were scared of them. However, as recent as ten years ago, schools were forbidding students with Aids from attending school. There was a direct reaction to this horrible disease and the walls came down around people who suffered from it. Rather than to try and understand it, people hid from it with often-disastrous results. There is a direct and instant reaction from people encountering someone with an infectious disease. Additionally there is a certain reaction from the person suffering the disease. The immediate reaction is an instant withdrawal and an instant sense of protection in order to not get the illness.
When a small child suffers from measles, the letters from the school to parents are sent home. Parents keep children from school and yet, the time period of infection has all ready passed once the sores are obvious. The innate reaction is to shelter and withdraw the sick person from the scene even though it serves no purpose.
Everywhere one looks there is sanitary hand cleaner. This simple gel gives people a sense of protection against colds and viruses. However, too much of sanitary hand cleaner creates an immunity to the potion and may kill some of the good germs needed. Exposure to certain germs and illnesses makes your immunity system stronger. This sense of protection is a direct response, but not necessarily the correct response. The best response might be to act in a proactive and healthy lifestyle to build a strong body that is able to protect against germs.
Infectious diseases cause people to hide and go for the instant protection. This is the immediate human behavior. There are well over 220 listed and discovered infectious diseases in existence. These actions to infectious disease, while not as nearly effective as one thinks, makes a person feel better about the situation. Just sitting around and waiting to get sick is not a very comfortable situation to be in. A parent at my school actually invited the child with chicken pox to her house. She wanted her children to get the infectious disease and to be finished with it as quickly as possible. She wanted to control the situation. This reaction to infectious disease was not the norm, but it certainly makes one explore their reactions to infectious disease.
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