Natural Exposure to Disease

Our environment has bacteria, viruses and a host of other foreign material. The mucous membranes that line our airways and digestive system trap and screen anything inhaled or swallowed and expel or digest it – especially if it is harmful.

This initial exposure, and the defence mounted to prevent passage into the blood stream, is called the ‘cell-mediated response’. It stimulates the antibody-producing arm of the immune system in the blood stream, or ‘humoral response’.

If bacteria or viruses pass through the mucous membranes they are tagged and then de-coded so specialised cells can produce specific antibodies to combat the disease. A host of other cells assist the process, engulfing and destroying invaders and eliminating the toxic residue through the mucous membranes and skin.

The skin has a thick protective keratin layer. If there is a cut, bleeding washes out and removes foreign bodies, bacteria and viruses. An inflammatory reaction at the site removes any remaining invaders.

Puncture wounds that do not bleed significantly need to be thoroughly cleaned and oxygenated to kill tetanus spores. Embedded thorns or splinters should be removed.

Healthy blood and a strong immune system help prevent infection.8

8. IBID, 6

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