KEEPING HEALTHY

Pathogens, Medicine and Vaccinations

Pathogens, Medicine and Vaccinations

MedicineNot all medicines kill pathogens. Some, like painkillers, are only used to help relieve symptoms of a disease. It’s also hard to create a drug that solely kills viruses without causing any damage to the body itself.

On the other hand, antibiotics, for example penicillin, are used to kill bacterial diseases. They don’t, however, defend the body against viral infections because a virus works from within the cell of a body.

Antibiotics have been extremely successful in preventing death due to bacterial infections. However, certain types of bacteria have been able to create a new strain resistant to antibiotics where these have been over used or used inappropriately.

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Vaccinations

MedicineVaccinations are used to immunise people against certain diseases. The process involves injecting into the body a small amount of dead or inactive pathogen. The body then thinks it’s under attack, which stimulates the white blood cells to release antibodies. The person is now immune to this pathogen and if it ever were really to attack, the body would have the right antibodies to fend off that pathogen.

Ensuring immunity to a pathogen to most of the population helps to prevent a disease from spreading. One popular vaccine for children is the MMR vaccine. This protects the body from measles, mumps and rubella.

NOTE: You don’t need to know about vaccination schedules or the side effects associated with certain vaccines.