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To think that mass immigration has introduced a lot of new diseases?

(61 Posts)
dolcelatte Sun 27-Jan-13 15:51:42

This is not an anti-immigration thread, not at all; I believe that the UK is richer and better for its tolerance, openness, and diversity.

However, has anyone noticed that there are far more varieties of 'bugs' around in recent years? Not necessarily serious but just different; for example, me, my husband and DDs have recently been laid low with a bug which involves not only high temperature, coughing etc, but also hands shaking severely, The combination of symptoms just seems to be more varied and sometimes more extreme.

Perhaps it's a sign of age, but I swear that there were far fewer types of bug around in my youth. Basically, you got a cold and it might take up to five days to shake off, but you knew what you were dealing with. Now, the almost random symptoms, eg a bug which resulted in severe headaches, can be a source of worry because it is not known and familiar.

In the past, the colonisation of various countries led to numerous deaths from 'white men's diseases', against which there was no natural immunity. We are now better equipped to treat diseases than in the past, but I do wonder if we are more exposed to a wider variety and/or different strains of bugs and diseases.

Perhaps ultimately we will just all be a lot more resistant to diseases as we develop new antibodies and immunities to these new threats?

Squitten Sun 27-Jan-13 15:53:44

Even assuming that today's bugs came from foreign climates, how do you differentiate between foreign people bringing them here and the massive increase in British people travelling abroad and bringing them home?

manicbmc Sun 27-Jan-13 15:54:09

Viruses mutate. Such is life. I don't think we can blame this on immigrants. Nor would I want to.

EntWife Sun 27-Jan-13 15:54:41

It has likely got much more to do with easily available international travel than immigration.

WorraLiberty Sun 27-Jan-13 15:55:13

Have you not though about how plane travel has increased over the years and how everyone is freely travelling/holidaying in different countries on a regular basis?

I don't think it's immigration...just easy travel.

catgirl1976 Sun 27-Jan-13 15:55:58 because we travel more.

Although immigration-hysterica-blame-itis is clearly on the up

eggsy11 Sun 27-Jan-13 15:56:06

are you writing an essay by any chance? grin I have been set something very similar!

Punkatheart Sun 27-Jan-13 15:56:11

Antibiotics. Too many. Immune systems buggered.

Not immigrants.

BegoniaBampot Sun 27-Jan-13 15:56:14

Isn't TB on the rise again? Think it has been said this is down to people coming in form countries where this is still a problem.

McNewPants2013 Sun 27-Jan-13 15:56:50

I belive it's travel rather than immigration

manicbmc Sun 27-Jan-13 15:57:14

TB is on the rise because our schools have stopped immunising.

meditrina Sun 27-Jan-13 15:57:36

Agree with worra that it's international travel that accelerates the spread (that why Spanish flu spread so rapidly in so many locations after WW1, and why swine flu was such a worry).

McNewPants2013 Sun 27-Jan-13 15:57:44

I would also say it down to some parents not immunising there children.

hatgirl Sun 27-Jan-13 15:59:08

or perhaps we/ our parents all keep/ kept our houses too clean and are so scared of 'germs' that our children don't build up the same immunity to general bugs as they grow up any more.

BegoniaBampot Sun 27-Jan-13 15:59:24

Really, don't they immunise against Tb any more?

MrsHoarder Sun 27-Jan-13 15:59:38

Viruses mutate. I remember being off school for a fortnight with a similar bug, but must colds I dragged myself in and sniffled through.

New bugs did come from foreign climates, when we went and conquered half the globe. But "foreign" bugs are now more likely to coffee from the naice 18 year olds travelling to add many large population centres as they can than you're local Polish plumber coming from a small town and struggling to afford to visit extended family.

manicbmc Sun 27-Jan-13 16:00:35

No, Begonia, they don't.

cory Sun 27-Jan-13 16:01:43

In these days of constant movement between countries, business exchanges, tourism, easy air travel etc etc, surely you don't need mass immigration to bring in what sounds like a virus?

Viruses typically have a very short life span so would need to be passed from person to person rather quickly to survive. So from that pov it makes no difference if the infected person is moving to settle in the country or just popping over for a conference. Aeroplanes are notorius for their high level of infectious viruses/bacteria.

The people I know who have contracted "foreign" diseases (including a couple that got TB) have all done so on holiday or work trips. And then, of course, brought them back to the UK. And in some cases, no doubt, spread them around the aircraft en route.

Another reason why new bugs are around is that the short life of viruses makes them mutate quickly-- so new species appear in a short time. This has always been the case: diseases change.

JustplainoldBuggerlugs Sun 27-Jan-13 16:02:03

And the resistance being built to antibiotics.

Naf all to do with immigration.

I'd dig out your hard hat if i was you OP.

Narked Sun 27-Jan-13 16:08:31

Travel. Not immigration. Even the Daily Fail isn't blaming it for that.

IThinkOfHappyWhenIThinkOfYou Sun 27-Jan-13 16:14:12

Apparently since smoking was banned on planes you are more likely to pick up a bug because the air is circulated more than it used to be. If on person has a bug on a plane then they could easily pass it on to 10 people who are all getting onto 10 different connecting flights and will spread it about on those planes.

carabos Sun 27-Jan-13 16:14:57

OP you seem to seem to view immigration as if was the annual migration of stampeding buffalo - it may come as a surprise to you to learn that the relatively small numbers of people who trickle into the country are healthy and generally not harbouring Ebola peculiar viruses which then sweep through the indigenous population.

As others have said, air travel is far more likely to be the source of these strange new diseases that you imagine think you have contracted. hmm

MrsTerryPratchett Sun 27-Jan-13 16:18:03

When I emigrated I was tested for a wide range of diseases, including TB, HIV and syphilis. I told themI was not an 18th Century pirate to no avail. Most immigrants are probably healthier than you.

bakingaddict Sun 27-Jan-13 16:19:39

All newborns are offered TB immunisation at 8 weeks of age. There are no reports too suggest levels of TB immunisation are or have fallen like MMR, so I assume people are immunising their babies against TB. TB is on the rise in recent years partly due to the spread of HIV and antibiotic resistance more so than lack of immunisation. Probably why it is now offered to newborns to get greater coverage instead of at secondary school when I was immunised in the 80's

You cannot restrict the movement of people easily these days so every country is suspectible to foreign viruses being brought to it's shores. There are hundred's and hundred's of viruses that comprise the 'common cold' but remember with colds and flu it isn't the virus as such responsible for your symptoms but your own immune system that's the cause. Histamine released giving you a blocked nose, fever by raising your body temp above 38.5C as a defence against the virus etc

MrsFionaCharming Sun 27-Jan-13 16:19:45

haha Eggsy, I have that essay too!

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