Human BodyScience

Can germs get sick?

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You probably already know that germs come in many different forms, all of which are too small for you to see, and that having certain kinds of germs in your body will make you sick and cause you not to feel well.

But can these little germy critters ever get sick themselves? The answer is "kind of." There's a type of germ that is even smaller than other germs, and if these "mini-germs" (known by scientists as "bacteriophages" or just "phages") get inside of the regular germs, they can make the regular germs "sick" or can even destroy them! Knowing about bacteriophages has been very helpful to scientists, who are trying to use them in good ways that will help us destroy the germs that make us sick when they get into our bodies!

Exploration

Operation No Germs! What are some things you've learned about which you can do to help keep germs out of your body? For example, washing your hands with soap and water after playing outside or right before you eat is one really good way to keep germs away. Making sure that you eat a balanced diet can also help you to have all of the vitamins and minerals your body needs to fight off any germs that do get in! Making sure to cover your mouth when you sneeze or cough is also a really good way of making sure that nobody else gets any of your germs! What are some other examples you can think of?