• Question: why do people get ill?

    Asked by Sophiexx123 to Carolyn, Peter, Richard, Sara, Siana on 20 Nov 2015.
    • Photo: Richard Unwin

      Richard Unwin answered on 20 Nov 2015:

      Hi Sophie,
      There are lots of reasons why people get ill, although they can generally be bunched into three groups:
      1) genes – some people inherit a faulty gene that means that their bodies may not develop properly, or they may be ill. Good examples are thing slike cystic fibrosis, muscular dystrophy
      2) bugs – things like bacteria and virusus and fungi can get into our bodies and some can be harmful. Our immune systems is designed to recognise these and fight them off, but an infection can range from things like a cough, cold, verruca or atheletes foot, to serious diseases like Ebola.
      3) ageing – as we get older our bodies start to get damaged and don’t work so well. This can cause parts of the body to start to fail, or behave wrongly. These ‘diseases of ageing’ include things like cancer, dementia, heart disease and arthritis.
      Hope that answers your question!