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What is Immunity and Why is it Important?

By HERWriter
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Wellness related image Photo: Getty Images

One early Saturday morning, I turned on the TV and the live-action animated movie ʺOsmosis Jonesʺ was airing on HBO. This movie received very little fanfare. However, ʺOsmosis Jonesʺ is an educational and funny movie about immunity and how your body combats germs.

The movie features the unhygienic Frank, played by Bill Murray, and Chris Rock as the wise cracking white blood cell and policeman, ʺOsmosis Jones.ʺ Jones is a member of the ʺImmunityʺ community. Immunity is the body’s police force which repels and combats the evil forces of diseases.

In one scene, Osmosis Jones shakes down a virus which is in the virus protection program. (Previously, the virus was injected with the flu vaccine and he is now an informant.)

The movie highlights and features Jones’ search for the bad guy, a lethal virus which wreaks havoc on Frank’s body.

Think of the movie as the "Cliff notes" on how our bodies fight disease. Also, it is a fun way to teach your kids about the inner workings of our bodies work and how our bodies fight disease through immunity.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there are two types of immunity. Passive immunity and active immunity are the two types of immunity.

But before we tackle immunity, let’s discuss antibodies.

Your body produces antibodies. These proteins are important because they play a vital role in protecting you against disease. The CDC’s website stated, ʺAntibodies are disease-specific. For example, measles antibody will protect a person who is exposed to measles disease, but will have no effect if he or she is exposed to mumps.ʺ

Now on to passive immunity.

Passive immunity can only last a few months or weeks. However, protection is immediate through passive immunity.

Passive immunity is when you receive antibodies to a disease. You do not produce these antibodies through your immune system.

According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, ʺPassive immunity is due to antibodies that are produced in a body other than your own. Infants have passive immunity because they are born with antibodies that are transferred through the placenta from their mother.

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.