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Grade 5

Health and well-being

Module 32

Illness and disease

We all become ill at times. When this happens, we visit the local doctor and/or take the right medication and wait for a speedy recovery. An ordinary illness can often have far-reaching consequences for people who live far from essential medical services. Sometimes people cannot even afford to buy the necessary medicines because they simply don’t have the money.


There are germs all around us. We come into contact with them every day but we don’t necessarily become ill from the germs we inhale or ingest, because a healthy body has a natural defence system that protects one from becoming ill. The body’s immune system identifies any foreign cells and simply attacks and destroys the unwelcome visitors. Sometimes, however, a germ may succeed in slipping past the lines of defence and that is when we become ill. The body’s immune system carries on fighting against the intruder, and most often the body succeeds in getting well on its own, but there are times when we need medication to help the body recover. Specific medicines have been produced to kill specific “germs”. A patient often also takes medicine to strengthen the body again after an illness.

Activity 1:

To gain information on medicines from various sources

[lo 1.1]

  • Talk to your parents, doctor and/or local pharmacist to find out the name of one kind of medicine that can be used when a patient is experiencing the symptoms listed in the table below. Write the name of the medicine in the column “Possible medication”.
Symptoms P ossible medication
1 Severe headache
2 Diarrhoea
3 Dry cough
4 Stomach cramps
5 Allergic reaction to bee sting

There are different kinds of “germs” that attack the body, such as viruses, parasites and fungi that penetrate and invade the body from the outside. In other cases the attackers come from within the body itself, for example cancer cells.

“Germs” that attack the body from outside can penetrate the body in various ways. Some viruses and fungi are present in the air, and are simply inhaled. Others, for example parasites, live in drinking water and are transmitted to humans by insects such as mosquitoes, flies and blowflies. Sometimes there are germs on the objects we touch, and these germs can find their way into our mouths when we eat or touch our lips. Certain viruses, such as the HI virus, enter the body through contact with blood or during sexual intercourse.


Most diseases with which we come into contact almost every day are curable. Some are more persistent and it takes longer to recover from them than from others. There are also some diseases that are so virulent that they just cannot be wiped out. For instance, despite all the research that has been done and the intense treatments that are available, some kinds of cancer still cannot be cured. In such cases treatment and medication are merely aimed at increasing the patient’s life expectancy and can do no more than ease the symptoms.

The HI virus that causes Aids is a very nasty virus. At this stage it is still too clever for the body’s defence mechanism.


LO 1


The learner will be able to use enquiry skills to investigate geographical and environmental concepts and processes.

We know this when the learner:

1.1 with guidance, selects and uses sources of useful geographical information [finds sources];

1.2 distinguishes between facts and opinions [works with sources];

1.3 categorises information [works with sources];

1.4 uses an index to find places on global atlas maps [works with sources];

1.6 identifies and explores possible solutions to problems [answers the question];

1.7 demonstrates knowledge and under-standing of the issue through projects, discussion, debate and charts [communicates the answer].

Questions & Answers

Is there any normative that regulates the use of silver nanoparticles?
Damian Reply
what king of growth are you checking .?
What fields keep nano created devices from performing or assimulating ? Magnetic fields ? Are do they assimilate ?
Stoney Reply
why we need to study biomolecules, molecular biology in nanotechnology?
Adin Reply
yes I'm doing my masters in nanotechnology, we are being studying all these domains as well..
what school?
biomolecules are e building blocks of every organics and inorganic materials.
anyone know any internet site where one can find nanotechnology papers?
Damian Reply
sciencedirect big data base
Introduction about quantum dots in nanotechnology
Praveena Reply
what does nano mean?
Anassong Reply
nano basically means 10^(-9). nanometer is a unit to measure length.
do you think it's worthwhile in the long term to study the effects and possibilities of nanotechnology on viral treatment?
Damian Reply
absolutely yes
how to know photocatalytic properties of tio2 nanoparticles...what to do now
Akash Reply
it is a goid question and i want to know the answer as well
characteristics of micro business
for teaching engĺish at school how nano technology help us
Do somebody tell me a best nano engineering book for beginners?
s. Reply
there is no specific books for beginners but there is book called principle of nanotechnology
what is fullerene does it is used to make bukky balls
Devang Reply
are you nano engineer ?
fullerene is a bucky ball aka Carbon 60 molecule. It was name by the architect Fuller. He design the geodesic dome. it resembles a soccer ball.
what is the actual application of fullerenes nowadays?
That is a great question Damian. best way to answer that question is to Google it. there are hundreds of applications for buck minister fullerenes, from medical to aerospace. you can also find plenty of research papers that will give you great detail on the potential applications of fullerenes.
what is the Synthesis, properties,and applications of carbon nano chemistry
Abhijith Reply
Mostly, they use nano carbon for electronics and for materials to be strengthened.
is Bucky paper clear?
carbon nanotubes has various application in fuel cells membrane, current research on cancer drug,and in electronics MEMS and NEMS etc
so some one know about replacing silicon atom with phosphorous in semiconductors device?
s. Reply
Yeah, it is a pain to say the least. You basically have to heat the substarte up to around 1000 degrees celcius then pass phosphene gas over top of it, which is explosive and toxic by the way, under very low pressure.
Do you know which machine is used to that process?
how to fabricate graphene ink ?
for screen printed electrodes ?
What is lattice structure?
s. Reply
of graphene you mean?
or in general
in general
Graphene has a hexagonal structure
On having this app for quite a bit time, Haven't realised there's a chat room in it.
what is biological synthesis of nanoparticles
Sanket Reply
how did you get the value of 2000N.What calculations are needed to arrive at it
Smarajit Reply
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Source:  OpenStax, Social sciences: geography grade 5. OpenStax CNX. Sep 23, 2009 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col10986/1.2
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