What Do They Cause?
Germs called viruses cause colds, chicken pox, flu, mumps, measles, polio, and AIDS. Pneumonia, strep throat, and food poisoning are some diseases caused by germs called bacteria.
Fun Fact: Viruses are tinier than bacteria.
Malaria is caused by a germ called a protozoan. Protozoans are made of one cell and are like tiny animals.
How Does it Spread?
Many germs spread through coughs and sneezes. You can pick up germs by touching a doorknob or something else that a sick person has touched. Washing your hands regularly can help keep you safe from many diseases.
What Else Causes Disease?
- Contact with poisons can cause disease.
- Smoking tobacco can cause lung cancer and other lung diseases.
- Drinking lots of alcohol can damage the brain and liver.
- Lead in drinking water or paint can cause mental problems in children.
- Clogged blood vessels cause heart disease. Many older people get diseases caused by body parts wearing out. Arthritis, Parkinson disease, and Alzheimer’s disease are diseases that most often occur as people age.
- Sometimes, babies are born with diseases or birth defects. These babies can inherit a disease that occurs later in life.
- Diabetes, high blood pressure, and muscular dystrophy are diseases that people can inherit.
Not eating the right foods can cause disease. Not having enough vitamins can cause some diseases. A lack of vitamin C, for instance, causes scurvy. Scurvy makes the skin bleed and teeth fall out.
What Are the Signs of Diseases?
Chills and fever are early signs of diseases. Pain in a part of the body can also be a sign of disease. A diseased appendix or other organ causes pain. Itchy eyes and a runny nose can be a sign an allergy.
Some diseases have no signs that you can see or feel. You cannot see or feel high blood pressure. Some diseases can only be found during a physical exam by a doctor. It is important to have regular checkups.
READ ALSO: What You Need to Know About Vitamins
How Do Doctors Treat Diseases?
Doctors treat many kinds of diseases with medicines. Doctors can kill most disease-causing bacteria with drugs called antibiotics. Doctors give drugs to lower high blood pressure.
Doctors cannot really cure diseases caused by viruses. Your body can fight off colds and flu. The body cannot fight off AIDS, polio, and some other diseases caused by viruses. Doctors have drugs that can slow the AIDS virus. Doctors can vaccinate you against some diseases caused by viruses. Vaccinations help your body fight off disease. There are vaccines against chicken pox, flu, measles, polio, and some other viruses.
Doctors treat some diseases with surgery. They use surgery to take out diseased organs or tumors.
It is best to keep from getting diseases. Getting plenty of sleep and exercise and eating the right foods can help keep you healthy.
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