Wednesday, 2 May 2012

Baby Illnesses

I thought baby illnesses worked like this...The tiny tot is born into the world with very little immunity other than that supplied by the mother via the placenta. As he or she drinks their mother’s milk more immunity is passed on from the mother. However they are still very susceptible to things like the common cold and so will get lots of them in their first few years. Meanwhile mum and dad will smile on serenely in the full and certain knowledge that they are already immune to that variant of the common cold.

Alas, it turns out that that is all a load of bollocks! Ever since Marty entered the house we have all of us been going down with colds like there’s no tomorrow – I have had more this year than in the last decade!

How come? I can understand that Marty will catch everyone of the 100’s of different cold viruses floating about the place but by now I should have built up immunity to 80% of them, surely? Yet every time Marty has caught a cold the entire house has gone down with it. Instead of sharing my home with a cute and cuddly bundle of joy I appear to sharing it with a 2ft tall bio hazard!

Ok, I can understand the mechanism by which I might catch one of his colds. He has a nasty habit of waiting until my face is about 3 inches from his own and then - with absolutely no facial clues whatsoever - sneezing. I’m no medical man but I’m fairly sure that having your face regularly drenched in snot and phlegm is a sure fire way of picking up infections – as well as offering Marty some mild amusement. But surely I should still have immunity?

My only conclusion is that there are two distinct types of cold; the common cold which floats around in the air, and the kiddie-cold, a virus which resides in flooring. As we grow up we get fewer and fewer kiddie-colds because we’re growing away from the source of infection. However, add a toddler to the home and things change; the toddler picks up the cold from his close proximity to the floor, and then shares the joy via unprovoked sneezing.

It all makes perfect sense. In fact I may contact The Lancet with my medical breakthrough.

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