The term “germ” encompasses an army of tiny terrors, including viruses, fungi, parasites, and bacteria. These “pathogens” all have the ability to spread from victim to victim(called a host). Germs are so small you can see them only through a microscope. They look like spiky blogs, oozing spirals,hairy hotdogs, or other microscopic monsters.
Why are germs bad for us?
These microorganisms hitch a ride into our bodies on the food we eat, in the air we breathe, or through a variety of other methods. Once they have invaded our personal spaces, germs reproduce and create toxic waste, which triggers our body’s most repulsive reactions. They make us sniffle, upchuck, run to the toilet, break out in rashes and fevers, and suffer even more unpleasant symptoms.
How do we get sick from viruses?
Most viruses are frail little things ( unlike bacteria and fungi, viruses are not even alive ) that can multiply only inside a living host ( including animals, plants, and even bacteria). There they spread overwhelming and attacking the host’s immune system and causing all sorts of nasty symptoms. Colds, flus, chicken pox, immune disorders, and measles are caused by viruses. Among the worst is a Ebola, which triggers bleeding and is fatal more than half the people who catch it.
How do we get sick from fungi?
Fungi are microscopic molds, yeasts, and other plant like pathogens that thrive in wet, warm places like our armpits, our belly buttons, and the dank spaces between our toes. They feed on our respect and dead tissues and produce stinky wastes that irritate our skin.
How do we get sick from parasites?
This ghastly germ group includes itty-bitty insect larvae, amoebas, and one celled organisms called Protozoa that live in nasty food, damp soil, or dirty water. Parasites depend on a living host for their survival. They sneak into our bodies in tainted water and food, costing of all sorts of gastrointestinal gripes: diarrhoea, vomiting, upset stomachs, and worse. Malaria – common diseases that causes chills, shaking, and fevers – is spread by a parasite passed in mosquito bites. These life-sucking relationships are often the stuff of nightmares.
How do we get sick from bacteria?
Unlike viruses, bacteria are living single celled organisms that can reproduce both outside and inside the body. Like all living things, bacteria create waste -microscopic poops that can act as a poison inside the host. You can blame sore throat, ear infections and tooth-tartar buildup on bacteria. One of the most famous bacteria is Escherichia coli. This rod shaped micorbe lives deep in your intestines, the body’s busiest bacterial neighborhood. Harmful ones make you puke for days.E.coli strains produce an important vitamin. That’s right – some bacteria are actually good for you!
How many bacteria are inside our body right now?
Your body is built of trillions of itty-bitty living blobs, called cells, that work together to make you you. But for every cell you call your own, ten foreign bacteria cluster around or near it. You are a microbe metropolis! Scientists call these communities of foreign bacteria your body’s “flora”, and no two people host the same mix of microorganisms. In fact, scientists are beginning to think of your flora as just another organ.
Can we see these bacteria?
No, they are microscopic. But you can certainly smell them. Like any living thing, bacteria eat, reproduce,die, and create waste which can make your life stink – literally !(Bacteria are the source of bad breath and body odor.)
Benefits of Bacteria
Your gut reaction might be to wrinkle your nose at the thought of bacteria inside your guts, but it turns out that many so-called good bacteria are essential to your health, the survival of life on Earth, and the making of tasty foods. Behold, the benefits of a microscopic allies…
Your body’s microbes support your immune system, which fights sickness.
Blue-green algae and other types of bacteria convert the nitrogen in the air into compounds plants can use.
Micorbes in our innards play a huge role in the digestive process, helping us absorb nutrients and vitamins from our food.
Bacteria are a vital ingredient in the process of turning milk into yogurt and tasty cheeses. The holes in Swiss cheese are created by carbon dioxide bubbles exhaled by bacteria during the cheese making process.
Bacteria breakdown dead animals and plants, which “decompose” into nutrients for the living.
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