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Public health MDs' concerns about imported diseases growing, meeting indicates.

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  • Research Article
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  • Medicine

Abstract

Understanding Microbes in Sickness and in Health Understanding Microbes in Sickness and in Health National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES National Institutes of Health NIAID SCIENCE EDUCATION N IA ID National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Understanding Microbes in Sickness and in Health U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES National Institutes of Health National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases NIH Publication No. 09-4914 September 2009 www.niaid.nih.gov 1 NI AI D I UN DE RS TA ND IN G M IC RO BE S Contents What Are Microbes? Microbes Have Bothered Us for Millennia Microbes Can Make Us Sick Microbes Can Infect Us Some People Are Immune to Certain Diseases Microbes Cause Different Kinds of Infections You Can Prevent Catching or Passing on Germs When You Should Go to the Doctor Infectious Diseases Are Diagnosed in Many Ways Infectious Diseases Are Treated in Many Ways New and Old Microbes Emerge on the Scene Research Glossary More Information Credits 3 9 12 14 19 21 23 26 27 28 33 35 37 40 42 (cover) Electromicrograph of an amoeba as it entraps a Legionella pneumophila bacterium, which causes Legionnaires’ disease. (left) Macrophage infected by Fransicella tularensis bacteria, which cause tularemia. NI AI D I UN DE RS TA ND IN G M IC RO BE S 3 What Are Microbes? Microbes are tiny organisms—too tiny to see without a microscope, yet they are abundant on Earth. They live everywhere—in air, soil, rock, and water. Some live happily in searing heat, while others thrive in freezing cold. Some microbes need oxygen to live, but others do not. These microscopic organisms are found in plants and animals as well as in the human body. Some microbes cause disease in humans, plants, and animals. Others are essential for a healthy life, and we

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