- Reading 1 Module Introduction
- Activity 1 Protection from Infection
- Reading 2 An Ounce of Prevention
- Activity 2 Stop That Disease
- Reading 3 On Guard
- Reading 3 Videos
- Activity 3 Defending
- Reading 4 Mimicking an Infection
- Reading 4 Discussion
- Additional Resources
An Ounce of Prevention is Worth a Pound of Treatment
In this reading students explore treatments and measures for preventing infectious diseases. Students should understand that while antibiotics can be effective for eliminating bacterial infections, no such treatments are available at present for viral diseases. At best, drugs can alleviate the symptoms, which may help the body’s immune system function more effectively to clear the infection. Students consider measures that can prevent disease and why prevention is more cost effective than treating a disease. Students are introduced to vaccines as a major preventative measure against infectious diseases.
Attributed to Benjamin Franklin, this quote actually reads “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” Whether treating or curing, it is far more costly to treat a disease than to prevent it. Being sick can be financially draining due to expensive medicines and lost work time. Being sick can also be physically, psychologically and emotionally draining (recall the last time you had the flu or a stomach bug) and may result in long term physical disabilities or even death.