1. What are germs?
2. Getting germs
3. Germ environment
4. Germ travel
5. Symptoms
6. Water's role
7. Water suppliers
8. Rules
9. Conclusion

Diseases & pathogens

Note on E. coli

What are germs?
Do you remember the last time you were sick?
Think about your symptoms: did you throw up, have a fever, go to the bathroom frequently? How long did your illness last? Did you go to the doctor? Did anyone suggest what made you sick? Chances are very high that there were germs involved.

Germs are everywhere in the world: on us, in us, and around us. Some of them can make us sick, by causing infections, so doctors and scientists work hard to learn as much as they can about them. Water suppliers need to understand germs, too, because it is their job to keep drinking water safe.

  Pathogens are germs that cause disease. Pathos is Greek for suffering, and -gen is a suffix meaning producer, also from Greek. Thus, "pathology" is the study of disease, and a "pathogen" is a disease maker.

"Germ" is a common term to describe a living microscopic creature which takes in food and gives off waste, grows, reproduces, and dies. Common types of germs are bacteria, viruses, fungi, and protozoa. Most microorganisms (also called microbes) cause us no harm, and there are many we depend upon.

See the kinds of
germs we're talking


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