Invasion of the GERMS!!
a web quest to learn about germs and disease in our body


written by J. Trusedell

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Have you ever got up in the morning and felt like you didn't want to get out of bed?  Your arms and legs ached, your head hurt? You must have a germ that is making you sick.

In this web quest we will learn:

  Different types of germs
  How germs enter our bodies
  How to prevent illnesses

 

Enrichment

What is a Germ?
Germs are tiny living things that are too small to be seen with your eyes.  To see germs, you must look at them through a microscope.  In fact, a line of 1000 germs could fit across the top of a pencil!
There are many different kinds of germs, but the two that usually make you sick are bacteria and viruses.

Bacteria- Under a microscope, some bacteria look like little round balls.  Others are straight rods while still others twist and spiral.

Myxobacteria

E. coli

Anabena

Viruses: These organisms are much smaller than bacteria.  some look like balls with spikes sticking out on all sides.  Others look like loves of bread or like tadpoles.  There are even some that look like metal screws with spider legs!

 

Bacteriophage T4

Germs, such as bacteria and viruses, are found everywhere.  They are in the air you breathe, in the food you eat, in the water you drink, and on everything you touch.  They are even on your skin and in your body.  Although germs are all around, they do not always make you sick.  Many germs are not harmful.  also your body keeps out harmful germs most of the time.  Your skin blocks the germs.  As long as there are no cuts or scratches on your skin, germs can't get in.
     Your nose helps, too.  It is lined with tiny hairs.  The hairs catch many of the germs you breathe in.  They push them back out.  

     The inside of your mouth and throat is always wet.  Germs often get stuck there.  They don't go any farther.  Yet some germs do slip in every once in a while.  If your friend has a cold and she sneezes, germs fly out.  You breathe the air and some of her germs get into your lungs.  If you take a sip of someone's soda and his germs ore on the straw a few of those germs may get into your stomach.  If you are riding your bike and you fall and scrape your knee, germs from the ground may get under your skin.

How your body fights infection:

The white cells in your blood germs that sneak in your body.  Usually, these cells kill the germs before they can do any harm.  Your blood also has special proteins that attack germs.  They are called antibodies.  The white blood cells and antibodies don't always get rid of the germs, through.  Some germs stay in the body and make you sick.

How bacteria makes you sick

When bacteria gets into your body it begins to multiply very quickly.  Each one becomes two new bacteria.  Then they become four and so on.  In a few hours there may be millions of bacteria in your body.  They bacteria give off waste products.  Some of these wastes are poisons.  The poisons can damage or kill the cells that make up your body.  When enough cells are harmed, you feel sick.  You may have pains and aches, run a fever, or break out in a rash.  You may cough or sneeze or throw up.  these signs tell you that cells are being damaged or killed in your body.  Some bacteria give off poisons that stay close to the bacteria.  Bacteria in your mouth are like that.  Their poison attacks only your teeth and cause cavities.  It does not go to other places in your body.  Earaches and boils and even pimples on the skin can also be caused by bacteria whose poisons stay in one place.

How viruses make you sick

Viruses are different from bacteria.  They don't give off poisons.  Each virus forces its way into a body cell.  it disappears inside.  For a while, nothing seems to be happening.  Then, suddenly the viruses break out of the cells.  Hundreds of new viruses tumble out.  Each virus finds another cell and digs its way in.  Then these cells pop open, and more viruses pour out.  Soon there are millions of viruses in your body.  The viruses spread out.  As they do, you feel worse and worse.  Viruses bring you colds, and the flu, measles, mumps, and chicken pox, and lots of other illnesses.

Rules for Good Health

 

Stay away from anyone with a Cold or the flu.

Wash your hands with soap and warm water to get rid of germs.

Eat good healthy food.

Brush your teeth after meals.

Get plenty of rest.

Do some exercise every day.

Visit your Doctor and Dentist regularly for checkups.

Be sure to get the shots you need called Immunizations.

 

 

Enrichment

Let's Find the Germ

Picture of Lou sick in bed How Lou got the flu

Wash Your Hands

 

Resources:
Germs make me sick! by Melvin Berger
GP health smart
Nursingfun.com
Kleenex.com
Microbeworld.com
The Big Book of Viruses