How Your Body Fights Infection

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When your body defenses don’t destroy pathogens caused by diseases, your body will become affected from the disease in three stages. These phases are the incubation period, the acute period, and the recovery period. The incubation period is the first of the stages. During this time, a pathogen enters your body which begins to show signs of the disease. This stage can take a few hours or days to as long as a couple weeks or more. The incubation period is the time when your body tries to destroy the pathogens in your body. Contagious diseases can still be passed on to other people at this time.

The second stage of disease is the acute period. Your body begins to show symptoms of the disease. Depending on how well your body fights off the illness, the length of the acute period varies. If you have a communicable disease, it would probably be most contagious during this phase.

The last stage of disease is the recovery period. At this time, you are not well yet, but most symptoms are gone. The disease can still be spread, like during the other phases. Taking good care of your body shortens the length of the recovery period. Trying to do too much too quickly can cause relapsing, or going back to the acute period. The three important stages of disease take action when your body defenses aren’t able to overcome the pathogens of a disease. (Lauren January 17, 2012)

Usually, pathogens don’t get in your body but if they do, other defenses fight them. Some of these defenses are white blood cells, fevers, and antibodies. These defenses prevent you from getting sick. White blood cells surround and then destroy pathogens by attacking them or engulfing them. White blood cells are found in throughout lymphatic system. There are many different types of white blood cells. Some kinds include Granulocytes and Agranulocites. A fever is a rise of the body’s temperature. Fevers kill pathogens and make others harder to reproduce. Fevers are also useful because they help you recover from diseases and illnesses faster. Fevers in children can train the immune system and prevent asthma. An antibody is a substance found in your blood that helps fight pathogens. There are different kinds of antibodies that fight different kinds of pathogens. For example, if you have the flu, there’s special type of antibody that fights the virus that causes the flu. Antibodies stay in your blood for a long period of time. They may even stay in your blood for the rest of your life! Every time the antibodies fight the sickness that you have, your body becomes immune to this sickness. Immunization is a protection from getting a particular disease. You can also get immune to diseases by vaccines. Vaccines are made up of dead or weakened pathogens. You could get vaccines for flu, chicken pox, measles, mumps, and also polio. Some vaccines are given as shots. Others are given in liquids. (Vivian January 17, 2012)

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