Try imagining a germ and you will probably think of a bug or a pest. In reality germs are little micro organisms that invade our body. They are so small that we don’t even notice them when they enter our body. We only get to know after they have attacked us, when we get a fever or a cold or cough or some other illness.
Germs are majorly of two kinds – Bacteria or Viruses.
Bacteria are tiny, one-celled creatures that get nutrition from their surroundings in order to survive. Bacteria cause infections. They can easily survive outside the human body. Some infections that bacteria cause are sore throats, ear infections and pneumonia .
Are all bacteria bad? Nope, there few good ones that help keep things in balance. They live in our intestines and help us digest the food well, so that our body can absorb all the energy, all the nutrients from them. So while we would want most of the bacteria to stay out of our body, good bacteria needs to stay in.
Now how do you make sure you are getting enough good bacteria in? By eating up your yogurt and probiotics daily, because they are full of the good bacteria.
Viruses are tiny microbes that are so small that they are not even cells! Viruses are just genes wearing a strong ‘coat’ made of protein. Ha! Jeans wearing a coat :) They cannot survive by themselves, viruses have to use a host body to grow which makes them a type of parasite. When viruses get inside people’s bodies that is when they become alive, when they can make baby viruses which spread and make people sick. Viruses cause chickenpox, measles, flu, and many other diseases.
Although viruses make you sick there are some good ones too. Like one virus called the vaccinia virus. Dr Edward Jenner, in 1796, found that milkmaids infected with cowpox (which is a mild disease) did not get smallpox (which is a pretty bad disease). It was almost like the ladies which had cowpox first became strong somehow to fight away the smallpox germs. They became immune to smallpox! This was a great discovery in medical science which finally led to science of immunology. Humans then found a way to be strong against viruses using vaccination as their weapon.
- Wash your hands with anti-bacterial soap regularly
- Cover your mouth when you sneeze or cough.
- No one likes to get shots but you should get your vaccinations done on time.
- Eat healthy and drink lots of water.