Tuesday, June 17, 2014
Here in the U.S., when someone suffers from a cold, we discourage others from getting too close while the sufferer is still "contagious". In the U.K., one would use the term "infectious", while " contagious" refers to actual physical contact.. In the nineteenth century, the U.K Parliament passed the first version of the:Contagious Diseases Act. This authorized the police at Naval ports and Amy bases to detain prostitutes for examination. If they had a venereal disease, they were taken to a "Lock Hospital", and kept there, in an age when few means of cure were known. Although "contagion" was by no means limited to VD, to this day when words related to "contagious" are used they bring VD to mind. So, if a Brit is told that someone is still "contagious", it might be helpful to clarify that the speaker may simply suggest that you avoid coming too close to avoid catching that cold.