Germs: pretty much everywhere
November 7, 2009 5:37 AM Subscribe
Epidemiology-and-Germ-Theory-Filter: are bacteria, viruses, fungi, etc. that cause common conditions (such as warts, conjunctivitis, and ringworm, for instance) pretty much everywhere (already)?
posted by Busoni to Science & Nature (6 answers total)
The relevant literature suggests that they are fairly contagious, and spread by contact. But while one can take precautions towards limiting contagion, doesn't it seem that given the prevalence of these diseases and the lack of precautions most people take, that the agents that cause these diseases must already be pretty ubiquitous, and that the only reason that not everyone has warts and pink eye is that people's immune systems are functioning properly?
In other words, am I right in saying that: although you probably want to avoid wrestling nude in the shower room at the Y, and farting bare-assed on people's pillows, people usually get warts and pink eye not because they failed to take these precautions, but because the germs that cause them are already pretty much everywhere, and happened to catch these people on a bad day, immunologically speaking?