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Germs are classified as pathogens that can cause illness and disease. Germs are everywhere. They are very small, and can only be seen with a microscope. A study conducted showed that 25% of womens purses contain E. coli contamination! Further research shows the average work office has more germs that your bathroom. Considering how often we eat lunch at our desk, that is pretty unappetizing information! Germs consume or energy and weaken our immune system.

There are four major types of germs. Bacteria are small, one cell molecules that live on the human body, creating an infection. Sore throat, tonsillitis, strep throat, ear infections, and pneumonia are all caused by bacteria. These types of illnesses require antibiotics to kill the germs. They are contagious, meaning they can be spread to other people. Not all types of bacteria are bad for us. Bacteria are present in our liver, helping to digest food. Other types of bacteria are used to make vaccines.

Viruses live inside cells and reproduce. The person, plant, or animal the virus lives in is referred to as a host. People get very ill from viruses. Chickenpox, flu, and measles all result from viruses. Fungi are plant like organisms. They can not make their own food, so they take what they need from people, animals, and plants. They thrive in warm damp places. Athletes foot is a type of fungi. While not life threatening, it is irritating and can spread to other people. The last type of germ is protozoa. They are one cell organisms that grow in moist areas, spreading diseases in the water. This can lead to diarrhea, nausea, and stomach cramps. To avoid the most common types of germs, wash your hands frequently, especially after using the bathroom. Teach children to sing a song while they wash their hands so they will do it long enough. Teach them to cough into their sleeves rather than into their hands to help prevent the spread of germs.



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