What Are Germs?
The term "germs" refers to the microscopic bacteria, viruses, fungi, and protozoa that can cause disease.
Washing hands well and often is the most important thing your family can do to prevent germs from leading to infections and sickness.
Types of Germs
are tiny, single-celled organisms that get nutrients from their environments. In some cases, that environment is your child or some other living being.
Some bacteria are good for our bodies - they help keep the digestive system in working order and keep harmful bacteria from moving in. Some bacteria are used to produce medicines and vaccines.
But bacteria can cause trouble, too, as with
urinary tract infections
, ear infections, or
. Antibiotics are used to treat bacterial infections.
can not survive, grow, and reproduce unless a person or an animal puts up rental space. 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 countertop or toilet seat can live there for a short time, but quickly die unless a live host comes along.
Once they have moved into someone's body, though, viruses spread easily and can make a person sick. Viruses are responsible for some minor sicknesses like
, common illnesses like the flu, and extremely serious diseases like smallpox or
Antibiotics are not effective against viruses. Antiviral agents have been developed against a small, select group of viruses.
Continue reading here.