From TB to Coronavirus: Stopping the Spread

Understanding the Form of Transmission and Immune Response

It’s crucial to look at the big picture when gathering information to understand the transmission of pathogens. A multitude of factors exist that affect the way in which pathogens are transmitted person to person. It’s also vitally important to consider the varying circumstances that cause patients to experience symptoms to varying degrees. For example, when traveling overseas, one can become infected by pathogens not common in the home country. Yet, these infections can cause even greater problems when underlying health conditions exist, affecting the body’s immune system response.

In spite of the large volume of medical and scientific knowledge that has been amassed over time, there is still much that is not understood about the body’s immune system. According to Sheetal Verma, PhD, there is often a delicate balance that is interrupted when a new pathogen is introduced into the body’s system that can cause the body’s defenses to crumble. Each individual’s immune system changes with its environment. Previously existing health conditions, poor nutrition, or lung and heart disease, for example, can cause the onset of an infection to lead to even graver consequences. 

Each disease and pathogen, whether bacterial or viral, has a mode of transmission. It is critical to understand the pathways in which the pathogen enters the body so that steps can be taken to slow and stop the transmission. In the case of Coronavirus, the virus is believed to be spread through droplets, transmitted through coughs or sneezes. Tuberculosis, although caused by a bacteria, is spread in a similar way. Lessons learned in the prevention of the spread of TB are useful in helping to stop the spread of Coronavirus. As scientists and those in the medical field share information, the united efforts are creating a powerful response to the disease that is troubling us today!

Watch Stealth on Health: Season 1, Episode 11 below for more!

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