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Offline Igor

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Are there "Temperate" diseases ?
« on: 26/07/2007 16:41:15 »
There are "Tropical" diseases which are confined to the tropics.
Are there "Temperate" diseases which only occur in temperate regions ?.
(Perhaps Influenza ?)


 

Offline rosy

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Are there "Temperate" diseases ?
« Reply #1 on: 26/07/2007 17:47:54 »
Don't remember the name of that disease people get from insufficient vitamin D (rickets?) but that's more likely (for a given diet and skin tone) to happen in non-tropical regions because vitamin D can be produced in the skin in the presence of UV light but if it's gloomy/dark a lot of the time you can't make it (also a potential downside of sunscreen, tho' I'd go for eating enough vit D and not getting skin cancer, myself..)

I wonder whether more black people get rickets in northern climes than white ones, because their skin is evolved not to get skin cancer rather than to maximise vit D production?

Also, apparently, depression (very prevalent in parts of Scandanavia, or so conventioal wisdom has it, I'm not an expert and have never been there). Also attributed to the lack of natural light.
 

Offline Igor

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Are there "Temperate" diseases ?
« Reply #2 on: 01/08/2007 16:51:26 »
I wonder whether more black people get rickets in northern climes than white ones

Not just black people...

Quote
Muslim women who wear the hijab are at risk of serious illness because they do not get enough sun, doctors have warned.

They said an alarming number of women who cover their skin are suffering bone deficiencies over a lack of vitamin D.

Most of the body's vitamin D - which prevents rickets - is obtained through sunlight acting on the skin. Only a little comes from food.

Doctors told a London conference today that people with dark pigment are at risk because of "cultural reasons" and because they are less efficient at producing the vitamin.
http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/news/article-23404811-details/Women+in+hijabs+'need+sunlight+or+risk+illness'/article.do
 

Offline iko

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Are there "Temperate" diseases ?
« Reply #3 on: 01/08/2007 17:25:56 »
So dear friendos...  [8D]

UP WITH VITAMIN D !!!

ikoD   ;D
 

Offline Igor

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Are there "Temperate" diseases ?
« Reply #4 on: 02/08/2007 15:30:59 »
There are "Tropical" diseases which are confined to the tropics.
Are there "Temperate" diseases which only occur in temperate regions ?.
(Perhaps Influenza ?)

I was thinking about "colds": pathological bacteria and viruses which apparently prefer cold conditions.
 

another_someone

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Are there "Temperate" diseases ?
« Reply #5 on: 02/08/2007 17:42:35 »
I was thinking about "colds": pathological bacteria and viruses which apparently prefer cold conditions.

Contrary to common prejudice, the common cold does not 'prefer' cold conditions.  Any bacteria that is comfortable living in the 36C of our bloodstream will not be any happier in an external environment of 20C or cooler.

What may well be an issue is that our own immune system may be more compromised by cooler weather (or, more possibly, by lower levels of sunlight), and so this may make us more vulnerable to infection by the common cold.
 

Offline iko

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Are there "Temperate" diseases ?
« Reply #6 on: 02/08/2007 21:36:34 »
Hi everybody,

I must remind you that profnick and I had a major discussion
about cold weather and infectious diseases, ended up in a
gentleman and peaceful 'keep my own opinion' sort of way.
This thread had been started by KarenW:

"Can you worsen and existing cold, by subjection to exposure in the bad weather?"

http://www.thenakedscientists.com/forum/index.php?topic=6406.0


Ok, let's get stuck for a few hours
in a freezer and see what happens!





...I suspect that as a kid you never read
"The Paul Street Boys" by Ferenc Molnár (Hungary 1906)

iko


Yeah you're right I think we've done enough on this one. I'll have a look at the report you mention if I get the chance, (I have 32 grant proposals to review in the coming week!).





ikoD   [^]
« Last Edit: 08/08/2007 18:17:00 by iko »
 

Offline Igor

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Are there "Temperate" diseases ?
« Reply #7 on: 07/08/2007 15:45:34 »
I was thinking about "colds": pathological bacteria and viruses which apparently prefer cold conditions.

Contrary to common prejudice, the common cold does not 'prefer' cold conditions.  Any bacteria that is comfortable living in the 36C of our bloodstream will not be any happier in an external environment of 20C or cooler.

If certain pathogenic bacteria and viruses were not temperature sensitive then why does infection cause a fever ?, (a rise in body temperature of only 2C).

Quote
One purpose of a fever is thought to be to raise the body's temperature enough to kill off certain bacteria and viruses sensitive to temperature changes.
http://health.howstuffworks.com/question45.htm
 
 

another_someone

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Are there "Temperate" diseases ?
« Reply #8 on: 07/08/2007 18:39:17 »
I was thinking about "colds": pathological bacteria and viruses which apparently prefer cold conditions.

Contrary to common prejudice, the common cold does not 'prefer' cold conditions.  Any bacteria that is comfortable living in the 36C of our bloodstream will not be any happier in an external environment of 20C or cooler.

If certain pathogenic bacteria and viruses were not temperature sensitive then why does infection cause a fever ?, (a rise in body temperature of only 2C).

I did not say they were not temperature sensitive, what I said was if they are optimised for temperatures within the human body, then they are likely to be less than optimal at temperatures below or above those of the human body (this is a generalisation, since not all diseases that infect humans will only infect humans - some will infect other species as well as humans, while some bacteria (not viruses) will live outside any animals, and the infection of animals is merely an occasional part of their normal life).

Quote
One purpose of a fever is thought to be to raise the body's temperature enough to kill off certain bacteria and viruses sensitive to temperature changes.
http://health.howstuffworks.com/question45.htm

Viruses and bacteria are totally different.  Viruses actually hijack the cells of their host, so one key way of killing the virus is to kill the cell that has been infected (i.e. when a virus infects a host cell, it will often send it into overdrive reproducing as many viruses as the host cell can be persuaded to produce, so the cell is already in a vulnerable condition, and raising the temperature of the body will very likely kill the infected host cell, and so make it useless for the virus).

Some viruses, such as flu, will cross species barriers, including infecting birds, which naturally have a body temperature about 4C higher than humans.  Other viruses (such as smallpox) are highly species specific to humans, and so will only ever have to survive at human body temperature.
 

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Are there "Temperate" diseases ?
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