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Infectious Diseases

Summary

Infectious diseases kill more people worldwide than any other single cause. Infectious
diseases are caused by germs. Germs are tiny living things that are found everywhere – in
air, soil and water. You can get infected by touching, eating, drinking or breathing something that contains a germ. Germs can also spread through animal and insect bites, kissing and sexual contact.
Vaccines, proper hand washing and medicines can help prevent infections.

There are four main kinds of germs:

  • Bacteria – one-celled germs that multiply quickly and
    may release chemicals which can make you sick
  • Viruses – capsules that contain genetic material, and
    use your own cells to multiply
  • Fungi – primitive plants, like mushrooms or mildew
  • Protozoa – one-celled animals that use other living things for
    food and a place to live

NIH: National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases

National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases

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