Germs: Bacteria, Viruses, Fungi, and Protozoaenparents are the microscopic bacteria, viruses, fungi, and protozoa that can cause disease.bacteria, bacterium, viruses, protozoa, fungi, fungus, funguses, treating infections caused by germs, cocci, bacilli, spirillum, contaminated water, contaminated food, coughs, sneezes, how are germs passed, pathogenic germs, poisons, toxins, chicken pox, chickenpox, herpes simplex, microscopes, scientists, medical researchers, athlete's foot, yeast infections, cell reproduction, invading the body's cells, weakened immune systems, amebiasis, giardiasis, malaria, hepatitis, antibiotics, medicines, medications, penicillin, nucleic acids, food poisoning, infectious diseases, ID03/22/200006/02/202006/02/2020Elana Pearl Ben-Joseph, MD03/02/202078b1159a-926b-4cce-aeaa-d5220def6a58<h3>What Are Germs?</h3> <p>The term "germs" refers to the microscopic bacteria, viruses, fungi, and protozoa that can cause disease.</p> <p><a href="">Washing hands</a> well and often is the best way to <a href="">prevent germs</a> from leading to infections and sickness.</p> <h3>What Are the Types of Germs?</h3> <h4>Bacteria</h4> <p>Bacteria (bak-TEER-ee-uh) are tiny, single-celled organisms that get nutrients from their environments. In some cases, that environment is your child or some other living being.</p> <p>Some bacteria are good for our bodies &mdash; they help keep the <a href="">digestive system</a> in working order and keep harmful bacteria from moving in. Some bacteria are used to make medicines and vaccines.</p> <p>But bacteria can cause trouble too, as with <a href="">cavities</a>, <a href="">urinary tract infections</a>, <a href="">ear infections</a>, or <a href="">strep throat</a>. Antibiotics are used to treat bacterial infections.</p> <h4>Viruses</h4> <p>Viruses are even smaller than bacteria. They aren't even a full cell. They are simply genetic material (DNA or RNA) packaged inside of a protein coating. They need to use another cell's structures to reproduce. This means they can't survive unless they're living inside something else (such as a person, animal, or plant).</p> <p>Viruses can only live for a very short time outside other living cells. For example, viruses in infected body fluids left on surfaces like a doorknob or toilet seat can live there for a short time. They'll die quickly unless a live host comes along.</p> <p>When they've moved into someone's body, though, viruses spread easily and can make a person sick. Viruses cause minor sicknesses like <a href="">colds</a>, common illnesses like the <a href="">flu</a>, and very serious diseases like smallpox or <a href="">HIV/AIDS</a>.</p> <p>Antibiotics are not effective against viruses. Antiviral medicines have been developed against a small, select group of viruses.</p> <h4>Fungi</h4> <p>Fungi (FUN-guy) are multicelled, plant-like organisms. A fungus gets nutrition from plants, food, and animals in damp, warm environments.</p> <p>Many fungal infections, such as <a href="">athlete's foot</a> and <a href="">yeast infections</a>, are not dangerous in a healthy person. People with weak&nbsp;<a href="">immune systems</a> (from diseases like HIV or cancer), though, may get more serious fungal infections.</p> <h4>Protozoa</h4> <p>Protozoa (pro-toe-ZO-uh) are one-celled organisms, like bacteria. But they are bigger than bacteria and contain a nucleus and other cell structures, making them more like plant and animal cells.</p> <p>Protozoa love moisture. So intestinal infections and other diseases they cause, like&nbsp;<a href="">amebiasis</a> and <a href="">giardiasis</a>, often spread through contaminated water. Some protozoa are parasites. This means they need to live on or in another organism (like an animal or plant) to survive. For example, the protozoa that causes <a href="">malaria</a> grows inside red blood cells, eventually destroying them. Some protozoa are encapsulated in cysts, which help them live outside the human body and in harsh environments for long periods of time.</p>Gérmenes: bacterias, virus, hongos y protozoosLos gérmenes son las bacterias microscópicas, virus, hongos y protozoos que pueden causar enfermedades.
AbscessAn abscess is a sign of an infection, usually on the skin. Find out what to do if your child develops one.
Campylobacter InfectionsThese bacterial infections can cause diarrhea, cramping, abdominal pain, and fever. Good hand-washing and food safety habits can help prevent them.
Coronavirus (COVID-19)The coronavirus (COVID-19) is making people sick with flu-like symptoms. Read this article to learn how to protect your family, and to know when to call your doctor.
Coxsackievirus InfectionsCoxsackievirus infections can spread from person to person. In most cases, the viruses cause mild flu-like symptoms, but can lead to more serious infections.
DiarrheaMost kids battle diarrhea from time to time, so it's important to know what to do to relieve and even prevent it.
E. ColiUndercooked burgers and unwashed produce are among the foods that can harbor E. coli bacteria and lead to infection and severe diarrhea. Here's how to protect yourself.
Fighting GermsGerms are tiny organisms that can cause disease - and they're so small that they can creep into your system without you noticing. Find out how to protect yourself.
Food PoisoningSometimes, germs can get into food and cause food poisoning. Find out what to do if your child gets food poisoning - and how to prevent it.
Food Safety for Your FamilyWhy is food safety important? And how can you be sure your kitchen and the foods you prepare in it are safe?
Germs: Bacteria, Viruses, Fungi, and ProtozoaGerms are tiny organisms that can cause disease - and they're so small that they can creep into your system without you noticing. Find out how to protect yourself.
Hand Washing: Why It's So ImportantWashing your hands well and often is the best way to keep from getting sick. Here's how to teach this all-important habit to your kids.
Listeria InfectionsListeriosis is a serious infection caused by eating contaminated food. It mostly affects pregnant women, newborns, and adults with weakened immune systems. Here's how to protect your family.
MRSAMRSA is a type of bacteria that the usual antibiotics can't tackle anymore. Simple precautions can help protect your kids from becoming infected.
Shigella Infections (Shigellosis)Shigella are bacteria that can infect the digestive tract and cause a wide range of symptoms, from diarrhea, cramping, vomiting, and nausea, to more serious complications and illnesses.
Staph InfectionsWhen skin is punctured or broken for any reason, staph bacteria can enter the wound and cause an infection. But good hygiene can prevent many staph infections. Learn more.
The Danger of Antibiotic OveruseTaking antibiotics too often or for the wrong reason has led to a dangerous rise in bacteria that no longer respond to medicine. Find out what you can do to prevent antibiotic overuse.
What Are Germs?You know they can hurt you, but what are these invisible creatures? Find out in this article for kids.
What Is an Ear Infection?A middle ear infection happens when germs like bacteria and viruses get in your middle ear and cause trouble. Read this article to find out more.
Why Do I Need to Wash My Hands?Washing your hands is the best way to stop germs from spreading. Learn all about the best way to wash your hands in this article for kids.
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