Contagion: Immune System and Disease

Topics: Immune system, Influenza, Infection Pages: 3 (874 words) Published: February 27, 2013
* Watch the movie Contagion and write an essay relating the movie to what you have learned in Bio101 this semester. Make sure answer the following questions within the content of your essay: (This assignment is worth 10 points and will be graded accordingly) 1. What is the disease caused by? How is it transmitted and who is the initial patient? How did that initial patient get the disease? The virus latches onto the host cell, taking over completely. The body doesn't know what to do and the virus continues to attack. The scientist noticed that there were traces of bat and pig in the virus DNA code so it mostly originated from an infected bat in China. The disease is transmitted by a contagion of touch. So the littlest things people touch and interact with, including each other, are potential harbours for infection and the initial patient is Beth Emhoff. A construction crew from Beth's company AIMM was cutting down trees in a forest in China that caused some bats to fly out. One bat was infected with the flu. It grabbed a piece of banana and perched above a pig's pen. It dropped the banana piece which was assumed to have the virus on it. A pig eats it and is eventually slaughtered at a food market. A chef handles the dead pig, touching the inside of the infected pig's mouth with his bare hands. He goes out to the dining room and poses in a picture with Beth holding hands, transferring the virus to her and starting the chain of events. 2. Explain by using what you know about genetics how Matt Damon's character remains unaffected by the disease. Mitch Emhoff had natural immunity which describes the state of being able to resist illnesses; such a condition originates in a healthy immune system. Natural immunity is resistance that one inherits from one's parents, in contrast to acquired immunity, which one develops over the course of their life. Also, almost all viral diseases have what scientist call the iceberg effect. Many people get infected but they have no...

Cited: Heymann, Eames K. "Things and Stuff: Herd Immunity." Things and Stuff. N.p., 15 July 2012. Web. 02 Dec. 2012.
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