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The STEM Way

What is a virus?

Already know this? Take the QUIZ!

Have you been hearing this word a lot lately? Why are viruses so dangerous ? Let’s find out!

What is a virus?

A virus a tiny particle that can make us sick when it gets into our body.

Viruses are so tiny that even if bacteria had eyes they wouldn’t be able to see a virus!

There are different kinds of viruses, some cause simple colds and some serious illnesses like the chicken pox or the coronavirus!

FUN FACT: The word virus is derived from a Latin word which means‘ slimy liquid’ or ‘poison’. 

How does a virus work?

How does something so small cause so much damage?!

Viruses cannot anything do by themselves. They are dormant.

Their true impact begins when they enter another cell.

What is a cell?

A cell is the smallest unit of life. A Cell can replicate itself. That means it can make copies of itself!

When a virus enters a cell, it hijacks the cell and the cell starts creating copies of the virus!

These viruses can then move and infect more cells

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How do we catch the virus?

One way is directly from an infected person. They may sneeze/ cough and the infected droplets might enter your nose/ mouth.

Another way if you touch a surface with the germs like a door knob, a pen , anything and then touch your nose/mouth.

Why does a virus make us sick?

Once the virus enters our body, our body’s immunity tries to fight it off in different ways.

Our immune system sends white blood cells to fight off the virus.

 

If it is a new virus, our body finds it really hard to fight off the virus and sends in lots of white blood cells to fight it off.

The white blood cell sends chemicals to destroy the virus, which can cause inflammation and many effects like skin rashes in chicken pox or runny nose in a common cold.

Another way is to increase our body temperature to kill the virus- in other words a fever.

We feel so tired because so much of our energy is directed to fighting off the virus. 

How can we protect against viruses?

As you can see, the virus enters our body from our nose/mouth. That is why we need to take extra precautions to wash our hands regularly and cover our mouth when we sneeze/cough.

Another way is we can stay protected is vaccines. Vaccines help us to develop immunity against the virus. This way our body already knows how to produce the right antibodies and fight off the virus.

Eat healthy food- lots of green leafy vegetables, fruits to keep have strong immunity and fight off the viruses easily.

 

What is a virus?

 

 

 

More links

Stay Healthy Word search puzzle from thestemway.com

Black pepper and soap: Make germs scatter from fantastic fun and learning.

Simple germs worksheet from Becca’s kindergarten creations

 

sources

https://science.howstuffworks.com/life/cellular-microscopic/virus-human6.htm

https://kids.britannica.com/kids/article/virus/390098

https://www.ducksters.com/science/biology/viruses.php

 

 

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