Ignorance about genetics helps spread of common contagious disease

It’s that strange time of year when, despite springtime breaking out all over town – tulips, apple blossom, sunshine, the works – everyone in the known universe appears to be ill.

I myself have been bouncing back and forth between gastroenteritis and colds for the past month. Despite being a microbiologist by training, I don’t presume any special knowledge about my own illnesses. Or maybe it’s because of my training. Lots of people though, I’m coming to realise, have very strong opinions about infectious illnesses. Last week, my teenage relative, who’d stayed home from school with a debilitating cough just the day before, bent down to plant a big juicy kiss on my baby’s face before I could stop her.

“Don’t worry, I’m no longer contagious,” she told me breezily.

Read the full, original story: ‘Don’t worry, I’m not contagious’ – and other microbiological delusion

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