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Thread: why can the body fight off certain infections and not others?

  1. #1 why can the body fight off certain infections and not others? 
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    for example, what makes aids different from the flu? and what benefit does a germ derive from killing off its host? tx.


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    Forum Ph.D. merumario's Avatar
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    Does the germ know that its host will perish?NO...the flu has boundaries such as it is not blood related..this gives the antibody more chances..when its blood related,it looks like some kind of encrytion that the antibody have to decode before repelling...drugs are taken to increase the ability of the antibody...but known have been seen to help the body against aids...so the body can't bounce back.when it fails to break the encrytion,it dies,the host dies....note the encrytion and decode are just to make my point clear.


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    for example, what makes aids different from the flu? and what benefit does a germ derive from killing off its host?
    Remember, the host is not the individual person or animal, it's the species. From the point of view of the virus, the individual is merely a vector for spreading the virus. And of course, biologically speaking, all species have varying capacities within their populations to resist parasites and infections. Without any medical interventions, a disease will spread, wax and wane within populations and the susceptible will die out leaving the rest of the surviving population either with enhanced resistance or entirely unaffected.

    In this never-ending war, the virus or other agent must also keep changing to maintain its capacity to spread. And round and round and round for millions of years.
    "Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen." Winston Churchill
    "nature is like a game of Jenga; you never know which brick you pull out will cause the whole stack to collapse" Lucy Cooke
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    Adeladly's is well taken. The host of either the flu or HIV is the human race, not the individual strickened with the disease. The differrence in viruelence between infective agents is a matter of how effective any particular infective agent is against humanities defences and the defenses of a particular person.
    Flu is a basic respiratory system infection but Flu is dangerous because it is always mutating. It is never quite the same disease from one year to the next, so having the flu last year does not confir immunity to this year's varient. This is analogus to a criminal group using fake ID's.
    HIV is dangerous because it attacks the cells of the immune system directly. This is analogus to criminals setting up shop in the police academy and murdering the graduating classes of new cops.
    These are 2 different "tricks". All diseases that are troublsome to us have some sort of "trick". How well the "trick" works is the measure of how dangerous the disease is. If the "trick" does not work at all then the organmism is considered harmless.
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    thanks guys. one other question. why do we get sick more often in cold weather? tx.
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    Your body temperature being low makes it easier for foreign bodies to invade and take a stand in your shivering body.
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    1. Cold is just a form of stress on the body. A body under stress of any kind is more likely to succumb to infection.

    2. The other issue in cold weather is that we stay inside more with less ventilation. We stay in contact with others more. We're more likely to touch surfaces that carry the virus. If everyone in a house or a business were to wash and dry their hands regularly, not just after using a toilet, there would be less virus on doorknobs and other surfaces to transfer to others.
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    "Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen." Winston Churchill
    "nature is like a game of Jenga; you never know which brick you pull out will cause the whole stack to collapse" Lucy Cooke
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    Forum Radioactive Isotope cosmictraveler's Avatar
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    Mothers and grandmothers have traditionally raised the cold-weather alarm: Bundle up, change wet socks and shoes, don’t sit in a draft and get chilled. The idea that sneezing, sniffling, stuffy noses, fever, and body aches are caused by getting chilled is a very old one. People have talked about catching “colds” since at least the 1500s. The common sickness was called a “cold” because its cause, people thought, was miserably cold weather.
    We now know that colds (and flu) are the result of infection–an overwhelming of the body’s defenses by tiny, invading viruses. The first viruses were discovered in the late 1800s. By the 1930s, scientists suspected that viruses were to blame for colds; proof came in the 1940s. Since then, we’ve learned that colds can be caused by some 200 different viruses, often from the rhinovirus group.


    But the billion or so colds we catch in the U.S. each year do tend to cluster in the colder months of fall and winter. Why? One reason is that we spend more time indoors in winter, in close contact with other people. The low humidity of winter weather may also help cold viruses flourish, especially in our dried-out noses.
    And scientists studying the flu, a much more serious respiratory infection, have found evidence that cold, dry weather plays an important part in the yearly winter outbreaks. Researchers exposed guinea pigs to a flu virus under different combinations of temperature and humidity. No healthy animals were infected when the humidity was held at a steamy 80 percent, or when the temperature hovered at a summery 86 F. But flu transmission soared when humidity dropped to below 35 percent, and when the temperature was lowered to about 41 F.
    According to researchers, winter’s cold dryness helps the flu virus survive in air longer, and get a foothold in the nose, where protective mucus dries out. (There is little flu in the tropics, where the weather is warm and humid all year long.)


    Another study in the U.K. connects cold with colds. Volunteers who plunged their feet into chilly, 50-degree F. water for 20 minutes were more likely to develop cold symptoms over the following week than those whose feet stayed warm. Researchers say that when the body harbors a cold virus, held in check by the immune system, chilled, wet feet may predispose us to a full-blown illness.
    Some scientists think that there’s another piece of the summer/winter puzzle: Vitamin D. In summer, when UV radiation from the Sun peaks, our Vitamin D levels rise. As days grow shorter, Vitamin D levels fall, reaching their lowest levels in late winter, the peak of cold and flu season. Since Vitamin D plays an important role in the immune system, making sure our levels are adequate in winter may help us fight off the viruses that cause colds and flu.

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  10. #9  
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    most informative. thanks everybody
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