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Three of the most common germs

Bacteria

Bacteria are one-celled organisms and are so small that they can only be seen with a microscope. Not all bacteria are harmful e.g. the Lactobacillus acidophilus is found in your intestines, which helps to digest food.

Some bacteria cause disease by producing chemicals that damage cells and this can make you sick. These bacteria can cause diseases such as:

  • Strep throat
  • Tuberculosis
  • Urinary tract infections

Viruses

Viruses are much smaller than the cells in your body. Viruses invade the cells in your body causing numerous diseases, including:

  • Common cold
  • ​Influenza
  • Ebola haemorrhagic fever (is a rare and deadly disease caused by infection with one of the Ebola virus strains)
  • Measles
  • Chickenpox and shingles

Fungi

Not all fungi can make you feel sick. Some of us even eat fungi. Mushrooms are fungi and the mould that forms on some types of cheese is also fungal.

Unfortunately some fungi can cause illnesses such as a fungus called candida. Candida can cause thrush in infants and in people taking antibiotics or who have a weakened immune system. Thrush is an infection of the mouth and throat.

Fungi are also responsible for skin conditions such as athlete's foot and ringworm.

Ref: J&J internal data