Human Defense Against Disease Throughout recorded history, people have tried to reduce suffering and disease. The first attempts consisted of treating the symptoms of disease. Common practice to treat a fever was to put on more quilts and blankets after the causative agent had entered the body! and raise the temperature until the fever "broke." #e now know that the microorganism causing the fever was killed by the high temperature.! $n the ne%t era, we administered a medicine such as penicillin to kill the organism after it had entered the body. The third era is characteri&ed by immuni&ation. Doctors give people an antigen to cause the body to produce antibodies against specific biological agents. This provides immunity so after that agent enters the body, the antibodies will kill it. $n each of the cases mentioned above, e%cept immuni&ation, the treatment is administered after the causative agent had entered the body. $n the mid'()th century, *dwin Chadwick of *ngland and +emuel hattuck of -oston, assachusetts, wrote reports on the sanitary condition of the environment Chadwick, (/012 hattuck, (/34!. They emphasi&ed the environment5s role in spreading germs and other causative agents of disease. $n my te%t *nvironmental Health organ, 1446!, $ acknowledge that through history we have become more knowledgeable about the causative agents of disease and the necessary ways to prevent the occurrence of adverse health effects. This book addresses aspects and mechanisms of immunity and practices to prevent the occurrence of disease. $t identifies four lines of defense to prevent or control disease based upon concepts reported by 7g and Davis ()/(!. 8irst +ine of Defense The first line of defense addresses how environmental health practices can control man'made and naturally occurring environmental conditions and thus prevent disease. *%amples of such controls include water quality management, proper human waste disposal, solid and ha&ardous waste management, rodent and insect control, food safety and sanitation, and others see organ 91446: for other e%amples!. econd +ine of Defense The second line of defense is the body5s ability to adapt to prevent the disease agents from becoming established within it organ, 1446!. echanisms that deter disease'causing agents from entering the body include the skin, mucous membranes, cilia in the respiratory tract, secretions of various fluids e.g., saliva, gastric ;uice, tears, and perspiration!. The ears secrete wa% that keeps out undesirable particles. <efle%es also play a role in protecting the body from disease. 7utrition and health condition are important defenses because they help the body resist disease. *%amples of this line of defense include proper nutrition and good personal health practice see organ 91446: for other e%amples!.