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A natural history of hygiene.

Can J Infect Dis Med Microbiol, 2007; 18(1):11-4
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pub_id
18923689
pubmedid
18923689
ISI
253889900003
reference_type
author
Curtis, V.A.;
title
A natural history of hygiene.
secondary_title
Can J Infect Dis Med Microbiol
ISBNISSN
1712-9532
volume
18
number
1
pages
11-4
year
2007
abstract
In unpacking the Pandora's box of hygiene, the author looks into its ancient evolutionary history and its more recent human history. Within the box, she finds animal behaviour, dirt, disgust and many diseases, as well as illumination concerning how hygiene can be improved. It is suggested that hygiene is the set of behaviours that animals, including humans, use to avoid harmful agents. The author argues that hygiene has an ancient evolutionary history, and that most animals exhibit such behaviours because they are adaptive. In humans, responses to most infectious threats are accompanied by sensations of disgust. In historical times, religions, social codes and the sciences have all provided rationales for hygiene behaviour. However, the author argues that disgust and hygiene behaviour came first, and that the rationales came later. The implications for the modern-day practice of hygiene are profound. The natural history of hygiene needs to be better understood if we are to promote safe hygiene and, hence, win our evolutionary war against the agents of infectious disease.
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custom_1
DOI_NOT_FOUND_BY_WOS
custom_2
Unknown
custom_3
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DOAJ
custom_6
10
label
2016-10-18
notes
Journal Article
url
author_address
London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, London, United Kingdom.
library
18923689
date_accepted
date_online
created
2008-10-20 09:59:50
modified
2016-07-08 00:00:00
library

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