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First Lecture detailed notes

Health Studies
Course Code
Caroline Barakat

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Plagues and PeopleMay 10th 2011
First lecture
Whats the impact of diseases on human societies?
Aim to understand why diseases occur
Humans are effected and what humans do effects the spread of diseases
Why is it so hard to control diseases
Introduction to Disease (Refer to pg 8, 9 in textbook)
Parasite: Using a different host and does not contribute to its survival; cant live on its own and
requires a living being for nourishment ,comes from parasitis- Latin word
Virus: a collection of genetic material that can cause harm to the host(DNA, RNA), can be seen
only through electron microscope(magnified over 10,00 times), ultimate microparasite
Micro parasite: composed of many cells, cycles through transmission stages (eggs and larvae),
bigger, can be seen through naked eye e.g. roundworms, flies, ticks,
Transmission: movement of a parasite from one host to another, infected spoons and drinking cups
can move parasites from one individual to another,
Incubation period: time period where the parasite is doing something, its replicating so it can
cause harm to the host, kind of replication, activity is happening
Latent period: inactive period where nothing can be seen,
Parasite virulence: capacity of a parasite to cause disease, how strong it is to cause harm to the
host, not so virulence: means it is not that capable of causing harm
Zoonotic infection: animal infections that can be transmitted to humans
What are the main factors that influence the occurrence of a disease? EPIDEMOLOGICAL
Three factors that have to present at all times for disease to occur in a person or society
HOST: inflict harm
Agent: parasite, microparasite, anything that can cause harm
Environment: promotes this exposure and allows it to happen
E.g. host related factors: if a person is immune to a certain disease, gender, age, nutrition
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