5 High-Risk Behaviors Related To Infectious Diseases

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An unfortunate but common trend in our society is to disregard certain precautions and safety protocols until we are suffering the consequences.

This is true of virtually every crisis situation, including the COVID-19 pandemic plaguing many areas of the world.

While many behavioral risk factors are more related to drug abuse and sexual behavior, there are many others far more pertinent to the current situation.

In this article, we will outline five different behaviors that promote the spread of infectious diseases on a wide scale.

Avoiding Vaccination

There is a large movement of individuals promoting the disuse of basic vaccinations.

Various examples are used as evidence to support this idea, none of them having significant support in the research.

While there are some health practices that have room for debate, taking advantage of the vaccines we currently have available is not one of them.

Although being vaccinated for a particular disease does not completely eliminate the risk of contraction, it overwhelmingly decreases the odds.

Furthermore, in the case that an individual does contract a disease despite being vaccinated, the damage to the body is usually far less, as the body has already developed a heightened immune response to the disease.

Inadequate Screening

It does not take very many infected individuals to quickly propagate an infectious disease in a crowded environment.

In places that involve a large number of people sharing a relatively small space such as hospitals, public transportation and retail stores, failure to perform basic screening precautions can spell disaster.

Many locations are now adhering to this practice, and while this is certainly beneficial, they are behind the curve.

Having trained staff on hand to monitor things like body temperature, physical appearance and asking a few relevant questions to each individual entering a building is crucial to mitigate the number of people infected during pandemics like our current situation.

Unnecessary Contact With Other Individuals

The truth is, being around other people is not completely avoidable.

Even during a pandemic, we still have to put fuel in our vehicles, purchase food and other vital resources and possibly go to work.

However, these interactions absolutely must be kept to a minimum.

While this can be inconvenient, it is important to be mindful of the risk to yourself and others when leaving home unnecessarily.

Comorbidities Affecting Immune Response

One variable that is universal in regards to any infectious disease is the population of individuals with the inability to combat the disease.

The integrity of a person’s immune system can single-handedly be the difference between a quick recovery and catastrophe.

There are many factors that weaken the immune system.

While some of these are unavoidable, such as those with deficient immune systems and the elderly, many others can be mitigated.

Obesity, decreased physical fitness, smoking and uncontrolled diabetes are a few key examples.

It is important to take care of your body even in the absence of a health crisis, but this becomes magnified in these situations.

Taking basic precautions to prevent contracting a disease are crucial but being healthy enough to deal with should these fall short is just as important.

Disregarding Basic Sanitary Habits

This may be the best example of how a global pandemic can make us aware of things that should always be put into practice.

Washing your hands and using hand sanitizer after coming into contact with shared surfaces is always wise.

Furthermore, cleaning equipment in high traffic areas such as gyms, hospitals and grocery stores are extremely effective at reducing the spread of not only disease, but other germs and bacteria as well.

In today’s society, we share a lot of things that most of us do not even take into account.

In situations such as our current predicament, it is even more crucial to establish and maintain basic sanitary practices.

References

Infectious Diseases; https://medlineplus.gov/infectiousdiseases.html

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