Primary Prevention

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PRIMARY PREVENTION

Primary prevention generally involves the prevention of diseases and conditions before their biological onset. This can be done in a variety of ways, such as preventing environmental exposures, improving human resistance to disease, or education to diminish risk-taking behaviors. Thus, general environmental and sanitary measures, such as maintaining a safe water and food supply, promoting the use of condoms to prevent sexually transmitted diseases, supplemental restraint systems in automobiles ("airbags"), and application of safe and effective vaccines are examples of primary prevention, whereby diseases and injuries do not obtain a foothold in the body.

Robert B. Wallace

(see also: Prevention; Prevention Research; Secondary Prevention; Tertiary Prevention )

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primary prevention n. avoidance of the onset of disease by behaviour modification (e.g. limiting alcohol intake) or treatment (e.g. routine childhood immunization). See also preventive medicine.