Germs: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly Clara Pelfrey, Ph.D. Cleveland Clinic & Case Western Reserve University
<ul><li>“ Microorganisms” are tiny creatures that cannot be seen without a microscope </li></ul><ul><li>They are everywhere – air, water, food, and everything you touch </li></ul><ul><li>Bacteria, viruses, fungi, protozoa </li></ul>What are germs?
Some common conditions caused by germs Condition Kind of Germ Common Symptoms Athelete’s Foot Fungus Red, scaly, itchy rash on feet Chickenpox Virus Fever; headache; red, pimple-like rash Common Cold Virus Sore throat; runny or stuffed-up nose; coughing; sneezing Ear infection Bacteria Pain and/or swelling in ear; fever Flu Virus Fever; headache; sore throat; coughing; muscle aches Strep Throat Bacteria Fever; sore throat; headache; swollen tonsils or yellow patches at back of throat
<ul><li>Before people knew about viruses and other germs, they had some strange ideas about what caused illnesses. </li></ul><ul><li>Hippocrates thought that colds were caused by waste matter in the brain . When the waste overflowed, he said, it ran out the nose. </li></ul>
In the Middle Ages, people thought illnesses were due to demons . <ul><li>They said that sneezing was very dangerous because a person’s soul might be sneezed out, and a demon could sneak in and replace it. </li></ul><ul><li>Saying “God bless you!” when people sneezed was a way to protect them from demons. </li></ul>
<ul><li>Bacteria are single cell organisms. </li></ul><ul><li>Their cells are Prokaryotic , meaning that they lack a membrane-bound nucleus and many of the cell parts of Eukaryotes. </li></ul><ul><li>Some of their parts: </li></ul>
Click on the picture to go to a web video on proper sneezing technique When you sneeze, air explodes out of your lungs at a speed of 100 miles per hour. The air in a cough travels at 500 mph!
To cover or not cover your mouth? <ul><li>ANSWER : Cover your mouth when you cough </li></ul><ul><li>THEN : wash your hands </li></ul><ul><li>BETTER : cough or sneeze into a tissue or your sleeve </li></ul>
What are viruses? <ul><li>Extremely small and simple life-forms, made of a chromosome surrounded by a protein shell. </li></ul><ul><li>Live inside the cells of animals, plants and bacteria and often cause disease. </li></ul><ul><li>Reproduces by inserting its genes into the cells of other life-forms. As those cells divide, so does the virus. </li></ul><ul><li>Too small to be seen even with microscopes. </li></ul><ul><li>Cannot multiply or produce disease outside of a living cell. </li></ul>
Conclusions <ul><li>Germs are everywhere! </li></ul><ul><li>Germs include bacteria, viruses and fungi </li></ul><ul><li>Some germs are useful: “The Good Guys” </li></ul><ul><li>Avoid spreading infections by sneezing/coughing into your sleeve </li></ul><ul><li>The most important thing you can do is: WASH YOUR HANDS ! </li></ul>